FedEx seeks to A clearer vision of the small business landscape, to make smart decisions in introducing new service.

How would FedEx service be ready for small business?

Today, there are an estimated 23 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 54% of all sales. Additionally, they are seen as the new locus for innovation. New technology allowing low cost outsourcing services; Obama affordable health care act also makes self-employment easier; large corporation facing reduced tedium departments and focusing on promising sector, which means more layoff, more acquisition to small size business. All these factors are driving capital and talents move for small businesses or start small businesses. This segment will grow rapidly in the near future. 

Challenge: who are those small businesses? What their needs? How do they look like?

With a rich consumer database, and strong deliver infrastructure, FedEx needs to connect the dots of those data and design service and marketing campaigns around defined targets. 

Findings: barrier and essentials for small businesses.

FedEx proud their strong infrastructure, having been top competitive among large volume cases. Given the volume of small business, it has less room for maneuver. Decisions related time, money and talents are essential. Delivery service always means to be safe, fast and reliable. What is unique, but crucial value to this segment that FedEx could deliver? What are sub-segments under this big category? 

After talking to 40 small business owners and experts, across three cities- Chicago, Austin and New York. High level insights could explain how time, money, talent influence small business:

1. Pay VIP service to insure the quality and service time.

2. Hiring struggling

3. Cash-flow.

Analysis and segmentation

Low volume / high margin.

High volume/ low margin.

One-stop shopping. - Purchasing channel / distribution channel.

Local market vs statewide market.

Deliverable: segments by phases: predict where these small business are.
Owner's types. and their proposition. We leave these to our clients for further research to define the their value proposition and opportunity space to define their target market.

Owner's characteristic, knowledge, mindset defining an businesses' future -  how they move under those conditions. When they mention their history, they all have different phases they would have different priorities, like a product life cycle. We settled with two typologies, one four phases; one of leaders types. These two sets of typology could combine also could be used separately as well. 

Implement: prototyping and validation plan

The SMB owner reserves the essential spirit of small business, create a small volume service solution. Those assumed types based on various research samples, it is a solid starting point to mining their data base- validating those types exist and identifying their target to further reach out. Our research, consulting project stops here, the FedEx innovation team and the small business team continued on the validation and ideation phases.  

Refer to FedEx new small business web portal.