MORE! adjusts market position

by admin on March 9, 2009

in Cloud Computing/SaaS,Featured,General,Marketing

crunchersThis morning I received an email from Bob Harper, CEO of MORE! Software saying that he’s retrenching to concentrate on the younger practices where MORE! can get involved with practice marketing.

At the same time, Bob advised me a of a new service he’s launched called Crunchers. This is aimed squarely at the outsourced micro-business book-keeping market.

I must admit to sympathy for Bob’s decision. It will mean that some practices will no longer get support from MORE! but then it allows the company to concentrate on the all important problem of onboarding clients for those practices that do ‘get it.’ Bob believes that many practitioners see onboarding as a hassle and so lose the opportunity to consider it a marketing opportunity.

This is a two-edged sword. The opportunities to provide micro-businesses with value add services are limited though I’d argue that in a downturn, there are more opportunities than might seem apparent. Even so, Bob is finding that many practitioners are stuck in a past where time is all important as the measure of value.

Onboarding clients for software is never easy as many have discovered. It requires an understanding of market dynamics, what matters to clients and overcoming the inevitable usability objections. On-demand software offers a range of possible counter arguments that should make life easier. But as always, it comes down to the marketing vision of both the vendor and the practitoner. If they’re aligned, then both can do well. If not?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

Jason Holden March 11, 2009 at 12:20 am

I noticed Bob changed his business model/approach a while ago, he has also been on accountingweb mentioning it for a little while, with mixed reactions ….

The part of your post I find most worrying is ‘It will mean that some practices will no longer get support from MORE!’ and this reminds me of Sage who stop supporting products irrespective of the users needs, NOT good business!

Any newer practice wants to know if it goes down a road with a software supplier that in a few years they will still be there supporting them, it doesn’t read like this is the case here?

Dennis Howlett March 11, 2009 at 12:24 am

@jason – yes, it's an interesting thought. I'm sure it will mean a degree of swapping.

Bob Harper March 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

What we’ve found that just selling software to accountants doesn’t work as well as we would like. Our model is simple, one firm in every area of the UK. The firm gets 150+ users of the software and structures their business so they owner doesn’t work.

Our most successful firm has been with us for nearly four years, is growing at £100k a year, has 90% of clients on MORE and will soon be earning £150k without working.

What we’ve done to ensure there is more success like this is be selective by introducing a new engagement process and have develop a comprehensive marketing program to help firms with their business development. This is working very well and means accountants can get the numbers and results they want.

Too many firms (especially multi-partner) have too much baggage to make this our strategy work; it’s usually the “managers” that screw it up. Start-up and young firms with energy are where we’re focussing. But, Crunchers is so good that we’re putting our energy into that as well. It’s likely we’ll only accept one accountant a month into MORE. And, they must have a budget of £15,000 – not just for our fees but to get the practice moving.

There will be swapping for firms that have underperformed. Keep in mind that the software and strategy didn’t fail, the accountants did! And, when there’s failure it’s best to hold your hands up and get on and do something else.

Dennis Howlett March 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm

@bob – you won't find any disagreement here!

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