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The Future of Small Business, Part Four

The Future of Small Business, Part Four


The Intuit 2020 Report is a look at 20 trends that will shape the next decade for small businesses in demographical, social, economic and technological standards. Although it was released in February 2011, many small businesses do not have the time or simply do not know where to look to gather this type of helpful information. For an in depth look at the report and how it was developed, has all related reports and materials.  

Our fourth and final glimpse into our Intuit 2020 crystal ball will focus on Technological Trends for small businesses in the next decade. With a forever-expanding cloud and advanced gadgets, industries, communities and most of all your consumer’s lives are always changing. This means change for you.

17. I know you have heard of “the cloud”. It’s in commercials, on your computer, and mobile network… the cloud for most is something out-of-reach that you just don’t quite understand. Well, that’s why we are here! Check out Wikipedia’s explanation… Wikipedia: “Computing Cloud” (it comes with pictures!) and you will see that the cloud is just a way to describe a service instead of a product. Utilities that you can’t see, like everything from data storage (having all of your pictures on the internet instead of stored on your compute) to a virtual server. This cloud, that is now the phase du jour in the business world, will change the entire infrastructure of businesses, even small ones. It seems that technologies on this large scale are meant for corporations, but with lower virtual space costs, even small businesses can maintain a steady flow of revenue.

The Intuit Report states that this cloud will not only expand to create a greater virtual atmosphere for serves you use and provide, but that it will change businesses “four walls and a ceiling” mentality. No longer will cubicles be the standard but at-home and own-time structure will become the norm. When working with a company’s cloud, everything can be accessed from anywhere, including personal computers and even mobile devices. As you can see, business will never be the same.

18. Become proficient in data collection, management and analysis. It is imperative, as a small business owner, that data interpretation is a huge part of your training and own understanding. Virtual space is vast and with so much data available, discerning the important from the spam will be a talent that most businesses will need in order to stay relevant and keep a “competitive advantage”. Although in the future there is not data overload that is not to say there is minimal data allowed. There will be so many others that hire for this specific purpose that a small business must learn the ins and outs of data management.

19. Social and mobile networks and the way they change client’s decisions and risk assessments will show you how important they become. When merged, these technologies will have a great influence on those that influence you and your business. Most importantly, combined networks will help clients with those businesses’ values and competition.

20. Our lives and businesses are changing as we type. Gadgets and utilities are getting smarter every day and will continue to do so for the next decade. The technology business is a difficult one to maintain because as soon as you are the “new guy” you are the “old guy”. As a small business owner, now is your time. You do not have to pay what the corporations pay and then renovate your techniques a few years later. You can change with the tides of technology and an advantage like that is worth more than gold. Yes, the larger companies in most cases are helping develop the gadgets and their services that you use, but they are also footing most of the bill. By the time it comes across your desk, it is nearly void of bugs and minimized for greatest utilization.

As you saw in this series, the next decade will bring change. From what you use to how you use it and who it will be used for. To maintain ahead of the pack all you have to do is stay on top of the “new”. That isn’t hard. Information is everywhere. Just make it a priority to look and you are already in a better percentile than most businesses that see it as a waste of time. I’m sure all of those companies that did not accept credit cards until the last decade wish they could get that revenue back. Don’t stay stuck in the past. The future is here.

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