What do your small businesses want?


Last week {add link to blog} we explained the methodology we use to bet on the right innovation to drive small business adoption. By identifying the situations that small businesses struggle with, we can provide solutions that inspire change (adoption). Our next two blogs will put the Jobs-to-be-Done methodology into action.

After researching thousands of user behaviors with interviews and focus groups, we have identified the most common financial pushes (situation/struggles) and pulls (attractions to something new) of small business owners, and clustered the data to develop four main jobs (solutions institutions can offer that meet needs and thus drive adoption). For the purposes of this article, we will introduce you to each scenario in the form of a customer, the way one would actually encounter such needs in your bank or credit union.

Meet Carl the contractor. Carl already has a system of invoicing and getting paid. In fact, he’s used it for years and is quite comfortable with it. He’ll admit, it’s a little complex and he often has to follow-up to make sure things are moving along, which takes some time in both the process and the speed of payment. Oh, and it’s not the best experience for his customers either.

Carl could benefit from adding a simple and trackable way to get paid. He heard that his bank had a way to send invoices and receive payments online. Thinking about it, Carl realized he could get paid faster and worry less about missing payments. By reducing the complexity of invoicing, he gained a holistic view of his company’s finances while offering easier and more payment options to his customers.

Note, Carl’s decision was not made because he was looking to “integrate” his business services, or “overwhelmed” with all the bills he had to collect. He was not thinking about accounting or any of the other buzzwords that other financial services might have tried to sell him. He’s interested in getting paid faster, knowing where his payments stand and giving his customers a better service.

Say hello to Polly the photographer Polly owns an established photography company, she’s an artistic mind who has a passion for the job and knows what she wants. And, what she does not want is to work with Square or PayPal. She tried that once because her customers wanted to use cards to pay, but the experience was terrible. Money was held in these third-party systems for too long, and she was fed up with the ridiculous rates, so she canceled the service to protect herself and customers. Collecting payments was a little harder, but she was willing to deal with it.

Then, Polly’s credit union showed her a better way to offer credit card payments. By working with her credit union, the solution was personal – there was someone she knew and trust behind the service. It’s not about all the features and functions, it’s about getting customers what they want. Now, they can finally pay using the card of their choice and earn those points again!

Next week, we’ll discuss two other popular small business scenarios to consider when marketing.