Looking Ahead to SMB: HomeAdvisor Talks ‘Disruption’ (video)

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Building a business that involves acquiring thousands of small merchants as customers and then driving mass quantities of quality leads to those merchants is one of the toughest challenges in the local space. HomeAdvisor is one of a relatively few companies out there that has pulled this off.

This makes the HomeAdvisor leadership team of CEO Chris Terrill and President Craig Smith an obvious choice to headline BIA/Kelsey’s SMB conference, coming up Sept. 29-30, in Denver.

We stopped in to visit the HomeAdvisor team during a recent trip to Denver, and Chris and Craig gave us a peek into some of the themes they will tacking during their talk, which takes place the afternoon of the conference’s first day. The two will talk about disruption — and how to thrive in its midst.

“You can survive the disruption, but you have to be really focused and have a plan for how you fit in,” Terrill said.

HomeAdvisor understands disruption better than most SMB focused businesses. The company survived the Web 1.0 bubble of local services marketplaces and later transformed itself, changing its name from ServiceMagic and narrowing its focus on home-services verticals. Now, the company is seeing a new crop of on demand services focused on its bread and butter categories, including Pro.com and Serviz (led by ReachLocal founder Zorik Gordon), as well as giants like Amazon and perhaps even Google.

HomeAdvisor hasn’t sat still. It launched “Instant Booking” this year to bring an on demand element to their business model. But Terrill also sees some solid barriers to entry in their chosen niche.

“Small businesses are hard to get hold of in this category and it takes a lot of capital to succeed,” Terrill said.

Terrill and Smith are part of a strong roster of speakers who have been doing the hard work of solving the SMB challenge. Marquee SMB brands like AffinityX, Constant Contact, GoDaddy, hibu, Vistaprint and YP will have prominent roles at SMB 2015. Check out the agenda to see the full line up of prescriptive, forward-looking sessions on the fast-evolving SMB space.

Thanks to bieMedia for its assistance with shooting and editing this video.

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