Are you a small business interested in business intelligence about your town, customers or competitors but don’t have the budget for some complex technology tool or software package? You might want to check out a new internet service called SizeUp.
The site lets small-business owners explore all sorts of scenarios and questions, such as:
- How do my revenues compare to other businesses like mine in my city and across the country?
- Am I paying my employees too much or too little?
- Where will my advertising campaigns have the best chance of succeeding?
“The overarching issue is that we recognize that small businesses are really successful at what they do,” said SizeUp CEO Anatalio Ubalde. “They are often less successful about how to make successful company. They often can’t afford to hire someone to help them see their path to success.”
Ubalde said SizeUp works by collecting data from numerous public and private data sources. The service was built out by GIS Planning, so many of the dashboards serve up geographic visuals and maps for small-business owners or managers to study. (GIS Planning is also behind a site called ZoomProspector.com, which helps companies figure out the best place to locate, relocate or expand their business.)
There are three primary things that an SMB can study by using SizeUp, which is accomplished by entering certain financial and operational information into the dashboards that the site presents.
- Seeing where the competition is located
- Benchmarking operational performance against rivals
- Identifying underserved markets where it might make sense to advertise
You can save information in your profile for future reference. Later, you can go in and update dashboards as conditions change or to run scenarios for the future.
The SizeUp service is free, unless you consider providing registration information about your company to be worth something. Personally, I do, but that’s the trade off you make with any site like this. SizeUp generates revenue through some of the partners that will be offering services to SizeUp members. Ubaldi said the site offers information that is appropriate for approximately 93 percent of the businesses in the United States, with the exception of certain “hyper-specialized” industries.