Within the last year shares of Yell, Idearc, R.H. Donnelley, and other telephone directory (Yellow Pages) publishers have dropped nearly 80 percent. Yellow Page companies have unwisely entrenched themselves in print while paper costs are increasing, environmental awareness is at its peak, and businesses and buyers are moving online. Their waning influence has forced their primary customers, small businesses, to seek other methods of exposure – the Internet.
Though many small companies have moved to the Web, only about half have developed custom domain names, and of those only a small portion leverage web elements like social media and e-commerce to drive sales. There are a abundance of tools out there designed to help small companies generate business, but distributing them to small firms with little web presence is a difficult task.
Virginia based SMBLive has realized this problem, and has partnered with broadband carriers to bridge the gap. SMBLive has cleverly built their enterprise products upon the Microsoft Sharepoint stack, allowing broadband carriers to easily integrate it with existing Microsoft enterprise software. This has enabled carriers to monetize their Sharepoint piece, and allowed SMBLive to get their business off the ground.
SMBLive provides two main products, 1WorkSpace and 1StoreFront. Both designed for the enterprise, 1WorkSpace is a simple web collaboration platform for small companies, while 1StoreFront is designed to help companies use social media and e-commerce to drive sales and build brand identity. Their solutions are undoubtedly well-crafted, but the key difference between them and the competition is their distribution model. The company is in its third year of business, and currently has partnerships with British Telecom, Telmex, Telus, and Swisscom.