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Emergent Research

  • EMERGENT RESEARCH is focused on better understanding the small business sector of the US and global economy.

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  • The authors are Steve King and Carolyn Ockels. Steve and Carolyn are partners at Emergent Research and Senior Fellows at the Society for New Communications Research. Carolyn is leading the coworking study and Steve is a member of the project team.

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« Taking Advantage of Weak Competitors | Main | Does Recession Lead to Increased Small Business Formation? »

December 29, 2008

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Curtis Gray

What about the growth of the Mainstreet Internet, where traditional non-internet businesses look for opportunities to sell online?

Seems a growth trend for 2009 would be in pre-packaged website services for e-commerce, much more so that in past years. After the traditional business owners check out the open-source software offerings, they will turn to online providers in droves.

- Curtis
http://ShipItOnTheSide.com - Learn to ship profitable software as a side job.

Tim Berry

Thanks Steve, great list. I'm most worried about your number 4, hoping that you're right, and that it isn't just wishful thinking. While starting your own business might be a natural counter to job losses and increasing unemployment, I hope we don't see crunch factors -- like credit squeeze, business failures, declining sales -- cut into new businesses. I want you to be right, so I've got my fingers crossed. Tim.

Chaitanya Sagar

Steve, I like the way you separated economic, techno and demographic trends. On 10, it's actually a lot of work to use online tools. Take blogging for example or for that matter even google ads. It takes a long time to understand and use the tools effectively. Do you think, in the long run, small businesses will be successful in using the tools?

Ken Kaufman

On number 6, I beleive that baby boomers will be the most interested in small businesses that can create an automated income stream. When a person gets ready to retire, they are looking for fixed or even annuitized payments to help them meet their monthly expenses.

If the small business is going to require 60-80 work weeks, then baby boomers will not be itnerested. We see an opportunity in this area for baby boomers to use their skills for about 20-30 hours per week and get paid well. Anyone who can shift their business model to attract this demographic could be rewarded handsomely.

jfg17

Hi Steve - Can you share your references for these two observations, please?

"The prior three recessions have seen small business formation rates increase."

"Failure rates will also increase, but not enough to offset the number of new small and personal businesses."

It would be great to know the figures that support these statements too. They are powerful.

Katie Langston - Small Business Marketing Wizard

Steve, interesting list. Re: #7, I think you're right. As a Generation Y-er myself, I can tell you there's a lot of concern among my peers that the jobs and career opportunities we thought we could count on are disappearing. As a result, I know several people personally who have decided to go into business for themselves. I actually think this ties in pretty nicely with your #10. Our relative comfort with web-driven technologies provides an opportunity many in my generation will find difficult to ignore.

Happy New Year!
Katie Langston

Matt | Small Biz Bee

I think number one is key. Hardship drives innovation, and is the reason we always bounce back from down economic times.

Matt

Account Deleted

Great post. Times are so different than previous recessionary periods, which makes this time so unique. Technology and globilization has made a totally different playing field. The world will not let us fail. However, if we do not think what the future will bring, then we have no idea how to prepare for it. My fear is that most small business owners do not have enough personal tools to do enough out of the box thinking. Blogging, social media, and other inexpensive marketing methods take more discipline than time. Business owners need advisors and help to overcome these difficult times.

@mattwilsontv

You hit it right on: Gen Y will seek other opportunities outside the corporate realm. Why would we want to be bored in a cubicle working our normal 9-5's when we can work on startups with people our age really looking to achieve something big!

There's far less risk involved and some of our parents are slowly warming up to the idea. To us it's about doing what we love, and doing what challenges us.

Voice from home

this is absolutely great post :)

Steve

Thanks for the comments. Sorry for the slow response, but I've been on vacation and not online for the last week. Here are my reactions:

Curtis: I love the term "Mainstreet Internet." Can we steal it:). On our research agenda for 2009 is work looking at what we call "The Local Internet." We think it this is a major trend that could easily have been on our list.

Tim: Lot's of people are telling us our forecast that the number of small businesses will increase is too optimistic. It, of course, could be (all we really know when we do a forecast is that we are going to be wrong:)). I'm going to post on this topic and provide more info.

JFG17: the data can be found at http://www.sba.gov/advo/research/data.html#ne I will talk about it more in a new post.

Chaitanya & Allen: lots of research shows that most small businesses struggle with using online marketing tools. And many are hard to use. But this is a powerful trend based on clear and measureable benefits.

Katie & Matt: Gen Y's online skills are quite impressive - expecially compared to the folks my age. No doubt these skills are a great Gen Y asset.

Steve

Peter Caputa

I agree that a compounding list of factors will result in the growth of small business creation. I also think it's the right thing to encourage economic growth.

Internet Marketing

I think we are going to see something similar to the rush of "we need a website" for every business. Except this time businesses will be rushing to and some internet marketing savvy.

For local businesses who combine some simple IM strategies along with some offline help the results can be staggering - and they tell all their friends and business neighbors.

Maybe the Internet Marketer will be the next Web Designer......

Just my 2 cents!

samuel de vera

i think i will have to agree on that steve,infact i myself is planning to put up a business that will remedy my financial constraints.i am currently employed but my gut is telling me to execute plan b.hope you can send me some top notch business ventures for 2009.

Jeff Paul Internet Business

I was just looking around for material on internet marketing and stumbled on your post. Nice post. I’m still looking for materials for my research.

David

Businesses objectives in acquiring a loan is to ensure that business operations continue till the revenues of the business ensures sufficient cash flow to cover operational costs. Working capital loans are ideal for companies or pursuing a new ventures or to cover short term cash flow problems.

David from http://jumplanet.com the Get a Business Loan site

Tom Troughton

I definately have seen more creativity for new businesses springing up around me in response to the econonmy. The creativity also seems to be a healthy way to face the world around us rather than be pulled down by gloom and doom.
Tom Troughton
http://www.startablogwebsite.com?CK

Internet Marketing Athens, GA

Well I am certainly doing my part to help make your prediction of increased small business come true. When my "day job" salary was cut by approximately 60%, in 2007, I decided to make my part time internet business full time.

Turns out that was a great idea to make my hobby my bread winner... it went so well in fact that I've started a second small business this year.

http://InternetMarketingAthens.com

seo for small business

Good List. I agree with all of them too. As a matter of fact, I'm banking on an increase of small biz expanding to the internet.

PPC Management

It really is quite a list. People need to start adapting to this economic let down and change their strategy a little.

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