5 Trends That Will Help Shape Small Business in 2010

Here come the 2010 predictions.  This one comes the way of the OPEN Forum and focuses on 5 trends that will shape the small business landscape in 2010.

Real time is big time.  People want instant access to fresh data.  I buy this and I think a critical mass of consumers are ready for it.  However, I still see major national businesses ramping up on the real time aspects of their marketing.  Small business are going to be several years behind them.  I agree there big opportunity for small business, but I don’t expect to see a mass movement in this direction by small businesses anytime in the next 2 or 3 years.

Location as plumbing.  Mobile is making this one happen.   Location is becoming a piece meta-data with more and more online actions.  Knowledge of where I am when I search, write a review, tweet, etc. is becoming more commonplace.  This (can) make the data richer and the results more precise.

Filtering gets social.  Companies in the business of connecting people with data (e.g., Google) have the mixed blessing of a rapidly expanding data set.  The ‘social graph’ is one of the tools that will help these companies find the data you are actually interested in.

Kitchen sink in the cloud. Most applications we use on a daily basis are going to move off  our personal devices and into the ‘cloud’.  This trend is accelerating and I believe it will continue…but with a few hiccups.  Expect a mini-backlash against these hosted applications as news of a few major failures starts to materialize.

Fusion boosts offline.  “No matter how wired we get as a society and business, there will always be a need for face to fact trust, building engagement.”  Right!  Online and mobile are just means to an end…and one of the many tools a small business owner has at their disposal.

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