Brian Brown, associate research director, Defaqto
Excluding one-man bands and very big businesses, SMEs still constitute a significant number of businesses - well over a million. Many providers think they can just target that segment by putting an office policy out there.
Off-the-shelf office policies cover all offices - shopkeeper's policies are designed for all shopkeepers. The industry needs to be more specific and start tailoring products to fit accountants, lawyers or architects.
You cannot just say, we're going to target SMEs, our target is everything with a premium over £2,000 or £3,000. That doesn't work. Also, it's impossible to target every business in the UK, say, with more than 10 staff.
You need to decide, what is it you are good at, what can you bring to the table, are there particular trades you have an understanding of, and are there particular types of business that you have an understanding of.
You can get some statistics to start helping build those niches, you can start with places like the Small Business Service or DTI statistics.You can work with the Federation of Small Businesses to start to understand what kind of businesses are out there. And only then can you start to target the small and medium segment.