I’m going to start this with a couple of really obvious thoughts. First off, running a small business can be exceptionally challenging. Dealing with the challenges that come up can be even harder. Between dealing with issues of billing, inventory, job posting, communication and the rest, there are a wealth of options out there. The extraordinary down side of having so many options, though, is that you’ll often find yourself with about 15 different tabs or applications open just to get through your day.
What if there was a single site that could manage just about every software option of your SMB? How about if there was one that could even give you some new ideas in how to handle things by connecting you with a network of other SMB owners? Soho OS does just that.
Soho was built with the idea that there are a lot of great applications out there on the Internet, but using them has become a task in and of itself. Having a centralized location for all of your SMB applications could really set something into a class of its own and that’s exactly where Soho has found its niche.
First thing’s first: Soho OS is free. Yes, really free. At least for the vast majority of its function. There are some premium services, and many of them tend to be the most popular. But the grand cost of zero dollars will get you in the door.
The questions that come to mind, of course are many. First off, are the services really as good as their standalone counterparts? From our initial impressions, in many cases the answer is yes. While there are definitive advantages to using things such as QuickBooks or the suite from 37signals, they often times can be outweighed simply by having everything easily accessible in one place.
I had the chance to sit and talk with Ron and Orit from SohoOS, the CEO and CMO respectively. What’s really interesting about their product, beyond the obvious, is that it has greater goals in mind. As Ron states, the idea is for SohoOS to really turn into more of a virtual enterprise for business owners. On the About page for the product, the sentiment is echoed:
Our Goal is to create a unique environment where small and micro business will prosper
The chief thing to notice here is that talk of the environment and the enterprise. Highly visible within SohoOS is an area where you can coordinate and correspond with other SMB owners. Need leads, vendors or partners? Having a network at your fingertips, with nearly 30,000 SMB’s so far, is absolutely priceless.
So let’s talk about the services. As you can see from the list above, there’s a pretty comprehensive array of apps and services that are available absolutely free. The premium services, such as communications, job postings and the rest, are all reasonably priced. With comprehensive providers for the premiums, SohoOS makes its money by taking a small percentage from each of the premium services that you choose to purchase.
Want to give it a try? You truly have nothing to lose. In fact, SohoOS is making the deal even sweeter by providing a $5 credit to your “wallet”. If you decide that you like what you see, you can add more funds at any time, giving you the ability to add more services.
The SohoOS team seems to be really dedicated to bringing great products. In fact, another has been launched just today. Each new business on the SohoOS platform will have its own customizable landing page.
So there you have it. For many of you, SohoOS could be a single-source answer to managing the software of your SMB. It’s not often that we see products this big and this ambitious. But when it comes to pulling out all the stops to help small business owners, SohoOS seems to have cornered the market.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.