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2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities. 1. “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”

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Presentation on theme: "2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities. 1. “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”"— Presentation transcript:

1 2010 Small Business Trends & Opportunities

2 1. “It’s the Cloud, Stupid”

3 Data Center Servers Employee Computers

4

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  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 EventsSeven Stars Events Landscape Design: Fiddlehead Landscape DesignFiddlehead 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)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

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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 Resources  Create mobile website: Mofuse, Zinadoo.com  Mobile plugins for CMS packages like WordPress  Smashing Magazine create-an-app tutorial : application/ application/  Mobile marketing: FanMinder.com  Google the phrase: “create iphone app”  Apps directories: Appolicious.com 5: The “Carry Your Computer” Trend

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

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 Resources  Per Dawn Rivers Baker of Microenterprise Journal: Visit SBA contracting education center: Also register in Contractor Database: https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx  PTAC counseling:  SCORE and SBDC workshops and counseling 7: Government Contracting Grows

25 8. Harder to Get Found Online

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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 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 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 Anita Campbell, Founder Small Business Trends SmallBizTrends.com BizSugar.com Questions? Thank you!


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