In 2005, Microsoft introduced the SBSC program.  It’s a competency-like designation for partners who specialize in providing solutions and services to the small-business segment.  There are some nice program benefits - a specialized logo, deeper training and tools, exclusive sales promotions, partner-ready marketing materials, promotion on the Microsoft Small Business website and Microsoft PinPoint (Partner locator). 

But only 6% of Microsoft partners in the US have this designation…so it is a great way to differentiate your business! 

And if you aren’t focusing on the small business segment – you should consider doing so.  There are 29.6 million small businesses in the United States.  Small businesses innovate and create new jobs at a faster rate than their larger competitors. They are nimble, creative, and a vital part of every community across the country and less affected by the new economy.

And for partners, the growing small-business market segment represents a large opportunity for you.  The Small Business Specialist Community can help you make the most of this potential opportunity. 

Where do small business owners go for advice?

·        52 percent from individual mentors;

·        51 percent from social networks;

·        44 percent from trade associations;

·        36 percent from business advisors;

·        31 percent from the Internet;

·        27 percent from Chambers of Commerce

Microsoft’s Local Engagement Team is focused on helping our partners extend their marketing reach through Chambers, local business community organizations and other trusted business advisors.  Connect with your local BDM today at www.mslocalpartner.com.  To learn more about the SBSC program, including terms and sign-up – visit the SBSC program page. 

Cheers!

John LaLonde

Microsoft Local Engagement Team, North Central

jlalonde@microsoft.com