As businesses strive to remain afloat in this post-Great Recession era, every cost must be scrutinized in order to ensure profit maximization. The challenging economic climate has resulted in the identification of an increasingly important business sector known as the “small office/home office” (SOHO). A recent Barlow Research blog post shined a light on this elusive segment and the opportunities and challenges it holds for financial institutions (FIs).
Online banking and financial management is a natural fit for the SOHO market. It is convenient, cost-saving and real-time, and allows monitoring and control of a company’s finances from any location and even on-the-go, via mobile phone. There is no disputing the popularity of mobile banking for personal accounts, and there is reason to think it will translate to the SOHO market.
SOHOs are no doubt a diverse market segment. They encompass anything from house painting to event planning to accounting (and everything in between). Each business brings different needs to the table, and any solution offered by FIs that target this market must be versatile and fully customizable.
In these economically challenging times, the search for new customers and revenue streams will continue. The SOHO segment could prove to be a great new market for FIs. SOHOs may seem small at first because individually they employ few people. Collectively speaking, though, the market is estimated to be quite large and worth exploring. With rising gas prices, time lost stuck in traffic and the high cost of office space, there is overwhelming evidence to believe the SOHO market will continue to grow and FIs stand to reap the benefits.