Online services such as Uber, Airbnb, Quickbooks Online and Xero, Asana, Evernote, Task Rabbit, Elance, PayPal and Fiverr are game changers in small business opportunities.
These services, and many others, enable small business owners to harness talent, leverage computing power and overall be more productive in their businesses – like never before.
Think about the worlds of online marketing – Infusionsoft’s marketing automation is creating time saving opportunities and boosting small business marketing success. Companies like ReachLocal provide small businesses with an entire outsourced marketing agency. Need help with your social content? Emphatic.co is amazing.
What ways are you using online software to grow your business and crush your competition?
Intuit recently released a study which shows how small businesses using online services are able to compete in new ways.
These four profiles of small businesses are:
- Plug-in Players: Small businesses will increasingly adapt to the cloud by taking advantage of specialized service that can be seamlessly integrated into back-office operations. Instead of spending time and effort on the nuts-and-bolts of finance, marketing and human resources, cloud-adapted small business will plug into cloud-based providers who deliver comprehensive, tailored solutions, giving small business operators the ability to focus on mission-critical areas of business.
- Hives: Cloud-adapted small businesses will increasingly be made up of individuals who share talent to form a team. These businesses will operate virtually, with employees working in different locations, and staffing levels will be increasingly flexible, rising and falling to meet to project needs. For example, independent contractors will use virtual spaces to connect and market themselves. On Main Street, small manufacturers and producers may share a commercial facility.
- Head-to-Headers: A growing number of cloud-adapted small businesses will compete head-to-head with major firms, using the growing number of platforms and plug-in services to reach markets once only accessible to large corporations. This is already being seen with platforms such as AirBnB, which provide individuals with the ability to reach a mass market through community infrastructure.
- Portfolioists: Successful cloud-adapted freelancers will bring together multiple income streams to create a career portfolio. These largely will be people who start with a passion, or specific skill, and are motivated primarily by the desire to live and work according to their values, passions, and convictions. They will increasingly build personal empires in the cloud, finding previously unseen opportunities for revenue generation.