SMBs are using an average of eight different software programs and Apps to run their business. A typical SMB might use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, PayPal, Quikbooks, Concur expenses software, bank accounts, CRM and supply chain software. Even though they would ideally work with one another, most of these operate as silos. How can SMBs effectively manage them?
That’s a question interestingly addressed by SquareStack, a startup that consolidates SMB Apps and software programs in one Dashboard. The service can also recommend software and Apps to SMBs based on usage and needs.
SMBs have typically spent $500 to $2,000 monthly on business apps alone, says founder Bill Furlong, a longtime Crain’s publishing executive — they can’t risk losing them in the mix. SMBs also need to figure out what software and apps they really want to use — not just among the Apps they currently have, but the explosion of new SaaS offerings they are being constantly pitched.
Furlong’s aspirations for SquareStack are for adoption by “hundreds of thousands” of SMBs. To get there, he envisions that SquareStack will work with associations, business media firms and franchisers, with a focus on six verticals, including automotive, retail, minority business owners, salons and contractors. Revenue-wise, the company will rely on licensing revenue from its channel partners via a subscription model, as well as e-commerce affiliate revenue for downloaded business apps.
Will the service fly? Providers of analytics dashboards know how difficult it is to get SMBs to look at their dashboards on a regular basis. But Furlong says that SquareStack is addressing more basic needs –their everyday online presence.