Intuit has released a report on the future of small business, predicting that artisans will re-emerge as an influential force in the coming decade, using technology and globalization to help them expand.
The report, sponsored by Intuit and written by the Institute for the Future, predicts that the emergence of "barbell-like" economic structures will drive new business collaborations, creating greater opportunity and profitability for small business. There will be a few giant corporations on one end, a relatively small number of midsized firms in the middle, and a large group of small businesses balancing the other end.
As this structure becomes more prevalent, there will be increasing opportunities for small business to flourish in niches left untouched by the global giants. Small businesses will be better positioned than large corporations to provide customers with highly targeted, customized and relevant products. Large corporations will increasingly tap small business for collaboration, fueling the number of small business innovators.
Increased computing power and access to big business infrastructure will lower barriers to entering new markets and reaching customers. Intuit foresees dramatically lowered barriers to big business infrastructure, giving way to lightweight technologies that make running small and personal businesses easier than ever. As a result, small businesses will reclaim manufacturing, fueling small-scale and specialized production.
The report predicts that small business diversity will help increase market growth in the U.S. and abroad, and will unlock new opportunities for all small business owners.