How to select the best file sharing solution for the SOHO & SMB market
There’s no shortage of file sharing solutions on the market today. However, many of them fail to meet the needs of SOHOs and SMBs. Take, for example, the most common pricing models, which are either license- or user-based. While suitable for large enterprises, these pricing models are often cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses and sole proprietorships. Enterprise file sharing solutions also tend to cater to all industries, including a wide variety of features and functionality that SOHOs and SMBs simply don’t need. This often creates a significant adoption barrier, as the prospect of migrating to a more expensive, complicated file sharing system can seem daunting to a small business with limited IT resources.
A market brimming with potential
Despite these challenges, market data reveals that SOHOs and SMBs are interested in finding the right file sharing solution and are major contributors to the growth in this industry. According to a recent report (1,2), SOHOs and SMBs account for 70% of file sharing sales. In 2020, SMBs in Europe spent 10% of their budget on data restoration and recovery, and 9% on cloud productivity (1). File collaboration is actually the second-largest expense category for businesses in these segments.
These stats reveal an opportunity. By expanding your current product portfolio to include a file sharing offering, you can tap into this rapidly growing market and address the unmet needs of these segments. Here are four key tips to help you select the right solution and go-to-market strategy to make the most of this opportunity.
Tip #1: Offer a purpose-built solution
As mentioned at the outset, one of the main challenges for these segments is the high adoption cost and inflexible pricing model employed by most file sharing solutions. To address this challenge, select a file sharing service that’s built for SOHOs and SMBs, with a flexible, consumption- or usage-based pricing model. That way, your customers only have to pay for what they need and use. Also, consider the advantages of offering a dedicated file sharing solution. With a dedicated file sharing tool, your customers can have control, visibility and access to their files in a way that isn’t possible with other solutions. This gives them peace of mind and reduces the internal barriers-to-adoption.
Tip #2: Prioritize usability
Most SOHOs and SMBs will be transitioning from an in-house file server solution. When they transfer to the Cloud, they not only have to think about the expense, but also about the time and resources they will have to invest to transfer all of their information to the new system. By offering them an easy-to-use file sharing solution that enables them to keep their existing file structure, you make the entire migration process easier and more manageable. The file sharing solution should also provide a simple, easy-to-use interface that is secure and can be configured to comply with the data privacy and protection regulations where your customers do business. By prioritizing usability, you also keep the demands on your internal support organization to a minimum.
File sharing – a growing market
Did you know:
- SOHOs and medium-large SMBs account for 70% of file sharing services sales.
- File collaboration is the second-largest expense category for these segments.
- The file sharing industry is projected to grow by over 27% (CAGR) by 2026.
Tip #3: Build customer loyalty through white labeling
Rather than promoting third-party solutions, consider selecting a file sharing service you can white label and offer within your own infrastructure under your own brand. With a white-labeled solution, you own the accounts and contact with the customer, which gives you the opportunity to build customer loyalty. If you choose to sell the solution to retail customers, this will also enable you to activate the customer on the spot, greatly reducing your sales cycle. And you can offer them a unique, high-quality customer experience that will set you apart from other marketplace solutions.
Tip #4: Monetize your existing infrastructure
With many bundle products, you are able to generate revenue from license fees, but very little from the data pull-through. By offering a file-sharing solution with cloud hosting on your data centers, you can monetize your existing, unused storage. This would not only allow you to recoup some of your overhead costs, it also creates multiple revenue sources from one account, thus increasing your customer lifetime value.
The file sharing industry is projected to have a compounded annual growth rate of over 27% by 2026 (1,2). That makes it one of the fastest-growing segments in the Cloud industry, second only to the back-up and restore business. In other words, there’s never been a more advantageous time to enter this market. And with the right solution, you can meet SOHOs and SMBs’ demand for a secure, economical and compliant file sharing solution.
Interested to learn more?