If you are a regular TechCrunch reader, describing a product as a SaaS hybrid of Quicken + Zoho + SalesForce, would paint a fairly clear picture in your mind of the product. And this is pretty much what Soho OS is. Thing is, the odds that their target user bases, small and micro-business, are regular TechCrunch readers, are slim.
But let’s push the ‘how to succinctly describe the offering’ issue aside, because Soho OS really does offer a well-rounded package of small business management services, from CRM, to invoicing, to VOIP. And it comes at an unbeatable price: it’s 100% free, with a commitment to remain so forever.
Soho OS is giving out 1000 access invites to TechCrunch readers. Get yours here: http://www.sohoos.com/welcome/techcrunch/
The founders of Soho OS built it specifically for micro-businesses, with fewer than 10 employees, for example freelancers, design houses, boutique PR agencies, etc . The idea was to provide a number of key businesses utilities for free, with a few premium ones as the base for a business model.
Sure, the interface could certainly use a UX overhaul with some American product design sensibility, but this is what Beta releases are for, and a chunk of the company’s next fundraising round has been earmarked for such an overhaul.
Once logged-in, users are presented with three main areas: Business, Networking, and Services.
The Business area is populated with the following ‘golden-oldie’ business utilities:
The Networking area is aimed at helping small businesses add or better manage their social online activity. Twitter and Facebook feeds can be added and easily converted into actions such as tasks, leads, contacts and events. Other features include:
This Services area section offers premium services on a pay-as-you-go basis. These include:
Based on a few hundred users, early traction is encouraging. Here is some data the Soho OS team shared with me on a recent campaign it ran on Facebook:
Planet Soho is the place small office / home office (SOHO) businesses, micro-businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers worldwide come together to grow and flourish. Planet Soho addresses the business needs of SOHOs, offering a powerful suite of free web-based tools to help SOHOs operate, a business-advice blog, and a directory of over one million small businesses. With over one million SOHOs on board, Planet Soho is leveraging the power of economy of scale to bring exclusive features to members, thereby giving SOHOs...