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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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Data Center Servers



Employee Computers

1 it s the cloud stupid1
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
1 it s the cloud stupid2
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
2 diy marketing grows1
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
2 diy marketing grows2
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
3 green is the color of business1
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
4 everyone can be a celebrity1
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)
4 everyone can be a celebrity2
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


Mobile Phones in U.S.

5 the carry your computer trend1
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

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
6 location based presence online1
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

6: Location Based Presence Online

  • Resources
    • GetListed.org
    • Latitude and Foursquare.com – create community
    • Google; Bing; Yahoo offer local listings
    • Twitter introduced Local Trends
7 government contracting grows1
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

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


Websites Worldwide

8 harder to get found online1
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
8 harder to get found online2
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”)
9 crowdsourcing customers
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
9 crowdsourcing customers1
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
10 more sole proprietorships
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
10 more sole proprietorships1
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

Questions?Thank you!

Anita Campbell, Founder

Small Business Trends



Twitter: @Smallbiztrends