Knowing what technology will shape small biz growth in a 10 year period will better help you plan for the future. That's why Intuit and the Institute for the Future conducted a ten-year forecast examining how technology will influence small business and how these businesses will change society and economy. Their research was published in as a three-part series called "Intuit Future of Small Business Report."
In early 2007, they released the first installment based on demographics and trends in business. They found three emerging trends affecting the way companies will be conducted by 2017.
1. New and Diverse Entrepreneurs. More mixed groups will be the major source of entrepreneurs. There will be more women, immigrants, younger and older age groups, than in the past.
2. More One Person Businesses. More businesses will be conducted by one person with no employees because of changes in traditional employment and the rise of technology.
3. Increase in Entrepreneur training. The success of small enterprises will increase because entrepreneur classes will be a major curriculum in schools.
The second installment, released in June 2007, focused on technology trends and small establishments. They identified three emerging technology trends that will most affect business by 2017.
1. Connectivity. Small companies will use networks, mobile devices, tracking devises, and digital infrastructures for more flexibility on when, where and how business is conducted.
2. Inexpensive and easy Web services. The faster and easier to use internet will increase small entrepreneural presence and expand relationships. Intelligent devises will enable interaction with the public.
3. Wireless Marketing. The most important factor affecting customer's purchasing decisions will be marketing on cell phones, mobile devises and automobiles. Customers will be able to reach any company's relevant information from anywhere and when they need it.
The third installment, released in February 2008, confirmed what the two prior reports predicted. Small entrepreneurs will find it easier to compete with large companies:
1. Collaboration. Greater chance for small niche businesses, especially artists and skilled workers, to compete because of social networks and the internet.
2. Greater Small Business Opportunities. Small business will have the same access to products, resources and infrastructure abilities that only larger companies have had in the past.
3. Small Operation Globalization. Because of technology, smaller companies will find it easier to connect throughout the world. Giving smaller ventures opportunities to new markets.