We’re always hearing about solutions for office workers, aka information workers, white-collar workers, etc.—those employees with a desk, PC or laptop, email account, and the rest of the usual accoutrements of a desk job.
But what about solutions for “deskless” workers—from restaurant workers to fitness instructors, and from delivery drivers to retail clerks—which are estimated to account for 80% of the world’s workforce or 2.7 billion people?
Technology vendors have historically overlooked this massive population. But this has been changing. The advent of smartphones and other mobile devices provide platforms that are much better suited to deliver solutions to deskless workers: A quick Google search for “solutions to deskless workers” led me to ten of them. As these solutions come online, and companies start using them, their benefits are becoming increasingly apparent.
Last week, I had a briefing with Connecteam, which offers companies a suite of integrated tools that they can use to manage, train and communicate with deskless employees. Connecteam provides three application hubs, including the following:
- Operations: Time tracking, scheduling, task management, checklists, and forms
- Communications: Internal chat, organizational directory, surveys, updates, and announcements
- HR and Skills: Employee onboarding, recognition and rewards, celebrations, employee documentation management, employee timeline, training, and skill building
All of these applications are integrated, giving companies a one-stop shop to interact with deskless employees. They’re all designed from the ground up to be self-service. Most new customers can get up and running within a couple of days, with help if needed from Connecteam’s Digital Help Center, video library, live chat, and webinars.
Connecteam’s Free Offer for Small Businesses with 10 or Fewer Employees
About 85% of Connecteam’s customers have 200 or fewer employees. With pricing starting at a flat fee of $30 per company per hub per month, Connecteam’s solutions have always been reasonably priced for these smaller companies.
But on September 20, Connecteam took a dramatic step—announcing it would make its solutions free to small businesses with up to 10 employees. And note, customers that take advantage of this free offer get the same, complete version of Connecteam’s applications—not a limited or trial version.
Small businesses interested in taking advantage of this offer can go to Connecteam.com to open an account.
In addition, Connecteam is making this offer available not only to new but also to its existing customers with less than 10 employees—and has notified them that the solution will now be free.
Helping Small Companies and Seeding Future Business
Founded in Israel in 2016, and now with U.S. headquarters in New York, Connecteam has built its solution for companies of all sizes and industries. It has more than 20,000 customers in 80 countries, with roughly 80% of its business coming from the U.S. Revenues grew by 400% last year. While small businesses are its bread and butter, the vendor also has some very large customers, including Saint Gobain and Sodexo.
In March of this year, the vendor raised $120 million in a Series C funding round co-led by New York-based growth equity firm Stripes, and New York-based private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation from Tiger Global, Qumra Capital, and Eyal Ofer’s O.G. Tech. Insight Partners also led Connecteam’s previous round. Series C brings Connecteam’s total funding to $160 million.
All of which begs the question, why is Connecteam potentially forgoing tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue with its free offer?
According to Amir Nehemia, CEO and co-founder of Connecteam, the company saw and heard how challenging it is for very small businesses to run their companies. Recently, many have struggled to deal with business volatility brought on by COVID, inflation, a potential recession, and other uncertain market conditions—trends that SMB Group research shows small businesses are indeed very worried about.
Nehemia and his team decided to step in to provide some extra support to these very small businesses with the free offer. They hope that this will help business owners better manage their teams and help a bit with cash flow.
Connecteam’s placing a good bet with this strategy. While growing, the market for applications for deskless workers is still underpenetrated. Connecteam has removed the financial barrier that often prevents small businesses from reaping the benefits that come from streamlining the day-to-day tasks required to manage their deskless workers.
Connecteam’s offer should help it plant new seeds for future growth. According to the US Business Formation Statistics (BFS), the number of business applications has steadily risen since the previous decade. In 2010, the number of new business applications was 2.50 million. Fast forward a decade to 2020, and this figure rose 75 percent to 4.38 million. Some of these newly formed businesses will grow—and potentially become paying subscribers. In addition, Connecteam should get a nice halo effect in the broader market.
But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Connecteam is confident that it can potentially help thousands of new very small business customers (most of who have no IT staff) via its intuitive self-service model—without putting an undue burden on its support staff. In contrast, many business applications require so much hand-holding that the vendors that produce them couldn’t create this type of free offer even if they wanted to.
© SMB Group, 2022