Scope Blog

For Small Businesses to Survive, They Need Better Ways to Connect With Experts

Expert marketplaces provide a centralized resource where businesses can go at the moment they need help.

Xander Oltmann
Blog Post
May 10, 2021

Over the last year, small businesses have been hit hard by economic downturns and a sudden shift to online selling that many found themselves unprepared and unequipped to handle. 

For small businesses to survive, they need support. That’s where a not-so-new service economy is being reborn. Service providers that can help small businesses with everything from setting up brand-new POS systems to building new websites can be game-changers for business owners already overburdened with the challenges of managing their business. 

So, what are some of the challenges that small businesses face in the wake of a global pandemic and a huge shift to e-commerce? 

Struggles of Small Businesses

The ecosystem for small businesses has fundamentally changed. Even the most stalwart main street-based business has had to face the reality that survival means having an online presence while still balancing your brick-and-mortar presence. 

In the face of these changing tides, there are some key areas where small businesses need the most support. 

Transitioning into e-commerce or building an online presence

This is the big one. Transitioning into the e-commerce space went from a thing on many businesses' "to-do" lists to an immediate priority for survival. 

Unfortunately, many business owners just don't know where to start when it comes to not only building an e-commerce store but optimizing their websites for search engines and drawing in the customers they desperately need. 

Managing their employees

As businesses slowly start to re-open, many are looking for better ways to manage their employees. With many businesses running on reduced staff or participating in paycheck protection programs, they need better systems for managing employee schedules, costs, benefits, and much more. 

Upgrading their current tech

A shocking amount of small businesses are still operating with the same POS, the same accounting software, and the same cash management systems they’ve been using for years, sometimes decades. That’s because tech upgrades are not only costly, they’re complex, and many business owners find themselves intimidated by the prospect of implementing and learning new tech for their business. 

Struggles of Experts to Connect

Thankfully for businesses, the freelance economy is here to help. There are providers that can address nearly every problem a business can have. So why are so few businesses utilizing them? 

It turns out; it's difficult for these freelancers to connect with businesses due to some fundamental challenges. 

Small businesses are de-centralized

While some small businesses may participate in main street collectives or other small business associations, many do not. This means that freelancers that want to work with small businesses must seek them out one by one, which is not only inefficient, it can be downright impossible to do at scale. For freelancers who are trying to work with multiple businesses, there are few centralized resources for them to reach many businesses all at once. 

Many businesses don't respond to cold-calling.

Even if a freelancer does decide to reach out to businesses individually, this can often have diminishing returns. Many business owners are simply too busy to respond to cold calls from freelancers or are uncomfortable working with a service provider they aren't familiar with. 

It’s hard to know what services a business may need

Say, for example, you're a Square integration specialist. How are you going to know which small businesses are thinking of integrating Square and need help? It can be nearly impossible to know what businesses need what services and when leaving service providers shouting into the void and hoping someone hears them. 

Solutions to Connect Small Businesses And Experts

So the key problem we’ve identified is that small businesses need help, and experts need to find the small businesses that need their help the most. So how do these two entities connect? How do they find each other quickly, efficiently, and at times they need each other the most? 

Traditional B2B marketing

B2B marketing strategies are the old standby for experts and businesses looking to connect. B2B marketing strategies may include:

  • Email marketing
  • Trade shows
  • Social media marketing
  • Print, TV, and Radio Ad buys
  • And many more

While businesses and experts have been using and responding to these strategies for decades, they come with some major drawbacks, such as:

  • They’re expensive
  • They don’t always reach your target audience
  • They’re time-consuming to create and execute

For experts and businesses alike, there is a need for a more direct, centralized resource to connect the right expert to the right business at the right time. 

This brings us to:

Expert Marketplaces

Expert marketplaces provide a centralized resource where businesses can go at the moment they need help the most and locate the help they need. For businesses, this saves them time searching for someone who can help them with their exact problems. For experts, they save thousands of dollars in advertising and marketing strategies, attempting to reach the right customer at the right time. 

Expert marketplaces allow the problems to meet the solutions with total transparency for all involved. Businesses can “shop” and compare different experts until they feel confident they’re getting the right person for the right job. 

Expert marketplaces like Scope are more than just a service provider platform; they're a community for software vendors, customers, and experts to come together and find solutions to their most challenging product problems. They provide a transparent ecosystem that matches problems with solutions while saving everyone time and money. 

For businesses and experts looking to save both time and money, expert marketplaces are the town square of the future, a one-stop-shop for customers, experts, and software vendors alike.