Last week I attended two giant web shows at Los Angeles Convention Center. The huge InternetWorld Spring 2001 and a concurrent show titled eCRM, both offered in sprawling four block square building in City of Angels. I went to seek out and report on ecommerce solutions for little guy. You know, that's you and me. The companies that have less than 100 employees!
The traditional label of "Small Business" has come to apply to far too many companies. I guess we should adopt term "Microbusiness" to get realistic about what most of world imagines when you say "Small Business". I mean a business with less than 10 employees and I think most of rest of world does too. Monstrous companies define us as invisible.
Well picture this if you will, I brazenly approached one sales guy (there were dozens of them) at Siebel Systems booth (more like a small city dominating 10 spaces in convention center). I simply asked him "Does Siebel offer any solutions for small business?"
His response was predictable. "Our enterprise solutions can be applied across multiple platforms to unite all legacy systems throughout . . ."
STOP right there please! You might just as well have said a very simple NO! You could go on to say something really quite derogatory like, "NO, you puny imbecile! If we created anything for worker ants like you, we'd be broke in nothing flat! Go away and come see us when you have $30 grand or so to spend and we'll be happy to TALK with you then!"
I have to be honest and say that Siebel salesman was really very courteous and pleasant. It's just fact that they don't get big by providing small solutions for small business people. So here is my list of really worthwhile solutions that I was able to find for LittleGuy.com at InternetWorld 2001.
As reported last week, my best of show award goes to CallButton. Reasonably priced, powerful, all around useful and a great ROI (return on investment) potential for small businesses online.
This is another of my picks from a previous conference called Upside Events Showcase 2001. I like it so much I'm making it a repeat winner since they've now partnered with Expert City. Someone else clearly agreed with me on this one. ;-)
This company offers free classified ads for your web site. Hold on now, not just another business opportunities classified site. These folks offer searchable, co-branded, subject specific ads and auctions that match theme of your site! Brilliant!