President Obama has proposed combining the Small Business Administration (SBA) with five other governmental agencies focused on business development into one large agency dedicated to expanding US business and trade. While the move would likely save costs and reduce bureaucracy, SMBs are not necessarily jumping for joy at this proposal.
As detailed in a recent USA Today article, a “one-stop” department for entrepreneurs seeking funding and assistance from the government will most likely come to focus on helping companies who employ several thousand people or more, leaving a whole class of companies who count their employees in the hundreds or fewer with little government attention or assistance.
In some respects, this SBA consolidation could have a negative impact on MSPs serving an SMB client base, as SMBs will have fewer outside resources to help them grow. However, the net result should be positive for MSPs. Here’s why.
Grow or DieThe economy is a long way from full health, but all indicators are it is on a slow trajectory of improvement that should continue at least through this year. That means markets of all types will start to finally grow after years of contraction or relative inactivity. Anyone who wants to stay competitive in an expanding market needs to grow along with in order to capture new business and meet an increased need for products and services.
With limited government help, SMBs may not be able to directly hire the additional employees or purchase the new technology solutions they will need to grow along with the needs of their customers. But they will still have to find a way to serve expanding markets, or wilt and die while larger competitors with deeper pockets fund their own growth and take control. Managed services can be a crucial, and affordable, option for SMBs to keep up.
Technology Never SleepsThe other factor working to MSPs’ advantage in an environment where SMBs do not have much access to government help is that even in the worst economic times, technology continues evolving at a breakneck pace. Just in the past few years of economic malaise, mobile devices have become a mainstream means for employees to log into corporate systems and the cloud has become a popular location (virtually speaking) for data storage and solutions hosting.
Once again, SMBs need access to the latest technologies to stay competitive with bigger, wealthier rivals, and once again, if they can’t get assistance from the government, the most obvious source of help is their friendly neighborhood MSP. Neighbors helping neighbors – isn’t that what America’s all about?