Business internet

BT market research into ICT buying habits of SMBs

I am always happy to hoover up any market research data up for grabs and at yesterday’s ISP Forum  BT analyst John Kiernan presented a summary of a study that BT had conducted into the ICT buying habits of 255 small and medium sized businesses.

The following factors were ranked in order of importance:

  • price is the major factor – no surprise here
  • SMBs then wanted to be able to buy services as part of a bundled package
  • the ICT product or service that they bought needed to last/be future proof but SMBs are prepared to try something new
  • SMBs need strong tech and after sales support
  • being local is not a major consideration – only 22% of those questioned felt this was important

Most SMBs look to the internet and their own existing suppliers to keep up to date with products and services. They have little interest in buying as a result of sales calls.

The last couple of years have been tough for UK SMBs with GDP falling for 6 x quarters in a row. According to JK growth was slow or non existent for most SMBs in 2009 and only slightly better for larger business.

A few other sound bites that were interesting:
Only 60% of SMBs have a website.
Only 14% see competitive advantage from ICT – smaller biz recognises it best

Finally what keeps SMBs awake at night? Finding new customers, leaving the recession behind growing their business, profit and cashflow. I can’t see these factors being specific to SMBs however.

I’ve got the slides if anyone is interested – I’m sure that BT would be happy for me to let you have them.

PS that’s the 20 minute talk distilled into a 20 second read 🙂