Written by Jason Brommet, Senior Product Manager for Microsoft Office

Why do 43 percent of Canada’s one million small businesses use the Internet to learn more about companies they want to work with, but almost half do not have a website of their own?

For a small-business owner, it’s no mystery that time and money is either a business’ best friend or worst enemy. Having interacted with many small business customers, I now understand that their time is of utmost importance and that every second or penny spent, better yield some type of valuable return. If you ask a small-business owner today why they don’t own a website, the same reasons come up – either it “costs too much” or “it’s too difficult and I don’t have the time”.

ofc-Live-SmBiz-2_rgbBut why does it have to be the case when it comes to web? It doesn’t and you, as their trusted business advisor, can help take small business customers online by taking advantage of Office Live Small Business – a complete set of easy-to-use and affordable Web-based tools that help small-business owners get online, attract customers, and manage their business.

Being a Trusted Business Advisor

It’s easy to say that you’re a trusted business advisor, but the challenge here is a commitment to provide more than surface-level services that support small businesses. Now more than ever, it has been increasingly important to dig deep and better understand the problems they face every day. But like any beloved accountant and/or lawyer, being a trusted business advisor comes with great responsibility and creating value while building trust that go beyond a one-time buyer-seller experience is a key part of that credibility (in addition to expertise, of course).

By offering Office Live Small Business as part of a comprehensive package of both offline and online solutions that service everyday small business needs, you are indeed creating customer value.

Key features of Office Live Small Business include:

  • Domain name registration with 100 business email accounts
  • Free hosting and web site creation tools to allow small businesses to easily create or transfer over an existing website
  • Optional Email marketing
  • Collaboration via Office Live Workspaces enabling small businesses to easily share and transfer documents with free 500MB storage
  • Better manage and track customers by integrating with Contact Manager, unified analytics, and easy to use document sharing, along with seamless and flexible integration with Microsoft Office

Here’s the Perfect Opportunity!

So what’s in it for Microsoft partners? By encouraging your customers to sign-up for Office Live Small Business today directly or as part of a deployment of Small Business Server (SBS) 2008, already available in Canada through most channels, partners can help their small business customers overcome their time and cost barriers to having a online presence.

Not only is this an easy opportunity to create value-add beyond current services, it also presents customers with great rewards and little to no risk. To learn about how Stuart Crawford, Small Business IT Professional and SBSC partner, is offering Office Live Small Business as part of an overall solutions package, read his blog here.

Are you ready to help your small business customers get online? Watch our small business customers tell their story today by visiting the Office Live Small Business Canada Launch virtual press kit.

Jason Brommet
Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Office
Microsoft Canada

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