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2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities

2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities . 1. “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”. Data Center Servers. Traditional Computing. Employee Computers. Cloud Computing. 1: “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”. How to Participate Internally Key categories: productivity software such as accounting & office

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2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities

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  1. 2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities

  2. 1. “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”

  3. Data Center Servers Traditional Computing Employee Computers

  4. Cloud Computing

  5. 1: “It’s the Cloud, Stupid” • How to Participate Internally • Key categories: • productivity software such as accounting & office • collaboration platforms for distributed workforce, clients, business partners • data backup services • marketing • Find apps that integrate with other apps; syncing with mobile apps a nascent area • Key issues: price, vendor reliability, security • Staff usage of Internet is double-edged

  6. 1: “It’s the Cloud, Stupid” • External Revenue Opportunities • “Productize a service” into an online application • Name it • Put limits around it • Give it a Web front end • Flat rate pricing – move away from time-based pricing • Replace hardware-related services with “soft” services • Hardware related services skrink & get commoditized • Make your website transactional: • Add appointment scheduling & customer service online • Look at existing apps for ideas in your market • “Borrowing brilliance” model by David Kord Murray

  7. 2. DIY Marketing Grows

  8. 2: DIY Marketing Grows • Save money, gain customer intimacy by doing marketing in-house • How to Participate Internally • Use lower cost technology instead of employee labor • Build a customer community online • Spread content far and wide • Hire people for their ability to use DIY resources/apps • Hire good writers and techno-marketers • External Opportunities – “Assist the DIYs” • Create apps (mobile and SaaS) to help businesses • “Teach” and “Help” the DIY market

  9. 2: DIY Marketing Grows • Resources – stunning array of DIY tools • Email marketing: Vertical Response; Constant Contact • Banner ads: PointBanner.com • Postcards: HP Creative Studio; USPS; Vista Print • Community & learning software: Prfessor.com; WordPress MU; BuddyPress; Ning; VBulletin • Follow-on marketing automation: Hubspot; Infusionsoft • SEO: LotusJump.com; SEOMoz; Knowem.com • DIY public relations: PRWeb.com • Advertising: Google AdWords

  10. 3. “Green is the Color of Business

  11. 3: “Green” is the Color of Business • Good Opportunity for Near Term – less certain long term • How to Participate • Combine passion for sustainability with your expertise • Event Planning: Seven Stars Events • Landscape Design: Fiddlehead Landscape Design • Switch to recycled packaging • Make your commitment open – to differentiate • Grants & stimulus fund available for green tech • Don’t “greenwash” – backfires with those who care

  12. 4. Everyone can be a Celebrity

  13. 4: Everyone Can be a Celebrity • Use executives’ personal brand to promote businesses, ala Richard Branson • Thought leadership, expertise based brand: • Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV) • Tony Hsieh (Zappos) • Tim Berry (Palo Alto Software) • How to Participate • Establish a resume site - your name as URL • Create content in your expertise • Establish social media “outposts” (company & execs)

  14. 4: Everyone Can be a Celebrity • Resources for thought leadership: • URLs: Go Daddy; Network Solutions • Blog publishing: Wordpress.com; WordPress.org: Typepad.com; Blogger.com • Self-Publish (lulu, kdpress) • Find a book agent: “Literary Marketplace” ref book (publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts) • 3 “MUST” social media sites for personal-brand outposts: Twitter; LinkedIn; Facebook

  15. 5. The “Carry Your Computer” Trend

  16. 277,000,000 Mobile Phones in U.S.

  17. 5: The “Carry Your Computer” Trend • Computers and mobile devices converge • How to Participate internally: • Install stripped-down “M Dot” mobile template for your website (http://m.twitter.com) • Build a “text message list” – 96% of messages opened • Create an a mobile app for your biz, blog or website • Price and location services through barcodes, GPS • External Opportunities: • Apps development • Mobile consulting: tech and marketing specialists

  18. 5: The “Carry Your Computer” Trend • Resources • Create mobile website: Mofuse, Zinadoo.com • Mobile plugins for CMS packages like WordPress • Smashing Magazine create-an-app tutorial: • http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/11/how-to-create-your-first-iphone-application/ • Mobile marketing: FanMinder.com • Google the phrase: “create iphone app” • Apps directories: Appolicious.com

  19. 6. Location Based Presence Online

  20. 6: Location Based Presence Online • Local directory listings and marketing finally gaining critical mass • How to Participate • Claim listings; update all directories • SEO optimize for local: website and listings • Local businesses: offer coupons/discounts via Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Merchant Circle, yellow pages online • Collect “location” information for marketing lists • Develop “community” online; enhances loyalty

  21. 6: Location Based Presence Online • Resources • GetListed.org • Latitude and Foursquare.com – create community • Google; Bing; Yahoo offer local listings • Twitter introduced Local Trends

  22. 7. Government Contracting Grows

  23. 7: Government Contracting Grows • Opportunities for next 3 years • Often more lip service than reality • Still, opportunities = $$ for small biz • External Opportunities • Break in through subcontracting • Relationship with decision makers is crucial – businesses in Washington, DC area beneficiaries • Women, Veterans and Minorities may find “gold” due to agency contracting goals • Don’t overlook state and local contracting opportunities

  24. 7: Government Contracting Grows • Resources • Per Dawn Rivers Baker of Microenterprise Journal: • Visit SBA contracting education center: http://www.sba.gov/training/governmentcontracting/index.html • Also register in Contractor Database:https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx • PTAC counseling: http://www.aptac-us.org • SCORE and SBDC workshops and counseling

  25. 8. Harder to Get Found Online

  26. 206,000,000 Websites Worldwide

  27. 8: Harder to Get Found Online • More websites, more companies online • How to Address Internally • Longevity matters – start now • Don’t ignore an old website; keep it fresh • Develop internal expertise in online marketing & tech • Shift more marketing spend online • Do get outside SEO / SEM help • SEO is required knowledge for business owners – learn so you can communicate with pros

  28. 8: Harder to Get Found Online • External Opportunities • SEO growth: services plus DIY apps/tools • PR and marketing firms can add services • Endless range of online marketing apps to be built • Analytics; dashboards; “analytics interpreters” • Hosting • Social media marketing (“multiplying like rabbits”)

  29. 9: Crowdsourcing Customers

  30. 9: Crowdsourcing Customers • Customer input to design new products and services; improve existing ones • Idea not new – but the tools today make it easier, cheaper, faster • How to Participate • Create a “space” where customers can interact and provide feedback: • Ask questions on your web site or blog; open comments • Use online survey tools and bolt-on customer feedback apps • Create digital listening outposts on social media

  31. 9: Crowdsourcing Customers • Resources • Suggestion/customer service bolt-ons: • IdeaScale.com; UserVoice.com; GetSatisfaction.com • Online survey tools: • QuestionPro; SurveyMonkey; Zoomerang; SurveyGizmo • Social Media for listening: • Twitter; Facebook Fan pages and Groups; LinkedIn Answers • Product forums • Company blogs • Create a social media hub page like Akron Canton Airport site

  32. 10: More Sole Proprietorships

  33. 10: More Sole Proprietorships • High unemployment = more startups • 20+ Million small businesses with no employees • Some will remain “lean” – never hire employees • Most will be service based businesses • Opportunities serving these startups • Clearly distinguish your target market – “niche-ify” • Price your services for startups; encourage repeat business with recurring revenue streams • Virtual online services have appeal

  34. 10: More Sole Proprietorships • If you are starting up, consider something you know: • Pet businesses • Web businesses & “Productized services” • Kids services and products • Convenience services (“dog walking”) • Home based franchises • Apps development • Online content and social media services • Virtual assistance; virtual bookkeeping • Specialty foods (esp. for health & wellness) • Consulting in your old industry/old employer

  35. Questions?Thank you! Anita Campbell, Founder Small Business Trends SmallBizTrends.com BizSugar.com Twitter: @Smallbiztrends

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