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The 3 Kinds Of Small Businesses

Cisco says there are 3 types of small businesses. Which kind are you?I recently had a good chat with Mark Monday, vice president of Cisco's Small Business Solutions Business Unit. We were talking about Cisco's new product announcements for small business, but I was also very interested in our discussion of how Cisco's new Small Business Technology Group (SBTG) thinks about small businesses.

mark monday
Cisco VP Mark Monday

Turns out that Cisco divides small businesses into 3 groups, based not on size (they all have between 5 and 100 employees), but on their "propensity to buy technology, and how they buy it." The 3 groups are:


The Elite group, Monday said, is more likely to already be buying Cisco products, so the new Cisco group is primarily focused on the others into the fold.

The Open to Guidance group is thought to be a much larger segment that is still trying to determine the value of technology the organization. They may have a sprinkling of new-generation employees who look to technology a wide variety of problems and who naturally include tech into everything they do. These companies tend to buy from VARs or directly from company Web sites.

The Basic group are those companies who don't value technology highly. These companies tend to be extremely price conscious, and buy equipment only to replace something that breaks. And when they do buy, it's often at retailers like Best Buy or Office Depot/Max.

What do you think of that characterization? Do you fit into one of those categories? Which one?