Small Business Labs

Connecting Artisan Makers With Retailers and Customers a Rapidly Growing Industry

Small Business Labs

Two companies that connect artisan makers with retailers and customers announced large funding rounds last week. The wholesale marketplace Faire raised $100 million while the wholesale and licensing business Minted said they raised $208 million.

2018 209

Gig Workers and Economic Anxiety

Small Business Labs

Marketplace and Edison research recently released Americans and the Gig Economy, a survey of gig workers.    The survey covered a lot of ground, including finding about 24% of American 18 and older are gig workers. This works out to a bit more than 60 million. 

2018 162

Coworking Doesn't Need a New Name, But the Office Space Industry Does

Small Business Labs

There's a mini controversy going on around whether or not coworking needs a new name.    The recent Allwork article Why Coworking Needs a New Definition covers the new name side.

2018 226

A Look at Non-Employer Businesses from the SBA

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy recently released A Look at Non-Employer Businesses , a one-page summary of key data on non-employers businesses. "Non-employer"

2018 222

Coworking is Disruptive Innovation

Small Business Labs

The term disruptive innovation was coined by Harvard professor Clayton Christensen and popularized by his classic 1997 book  The Innovator’s Dilemma.

2018 208

Yet More on the Changing Nature of Retirement

Small Business Labs

We've covered the changing nature of retirement so often in our Baby Boomer section we feel like we're feeding a fed horse by covering it again. But it's an important trend and there continues to be a flurry of interesting articles on working in and/or delaying retirement.

Why Independent Work and Coworking Increase Mental and Physical Well-Being

Small Business Labs

McKinsey's  The overlooked essentials of employee well-being focuses on how companies can improve the well-being of their employees.

2018 230

More on the Changing Nature of Retirement

Small Business Labs

There's been a recent flurry of articles on retirement, mostly focusing on older people staying in the workforce longer than prior generations. An examples is Harvard Business Review's When No One Retires.

The Rise of the "Elite Expert Segment of the Gig Economy"

Small Business Labs

How To Be A Rock Star In The Elite Expert Segment Of The Gig Economy is an interesting white paper from The Luxury Institute, which claims to be "the world's most trusted luxury and premium goods and services consulting firm." " The Luxury Institute is an expert network firm.

2018 207

GM's Restructuring Illustrates Multiple Trends

Small Business Labs

GM recently announced a restructuring plan that includes laying off about 14,000 employees and halting production at five of its North American auto plants. The announcement got a lot of attention, most of it rightly focused on the impact on workers and what it might mean for the broader economy. 

2018 160

Funding for Education Technology Startups Continues to Boom

Small Business Labs

Crunchbase's Aceable Scores $47M, As Startups Look To The Future Of Education (And Work) covers the continuing growth of venture capital investment in Edtech.    The article chart below (click to enlarge) shows some (but not all) of the bigger Edtech funding rounds in 2018.

2018 142

Why We Aren't Doing a Coworking Forecast This Year

Small Business Labs

This is the time of year we normally release our annual coworking forecast. And this year would have been our 10 th annual forecast ( click here for our 2018 forecast ).    But after a great deal of deliberation, we've decided not to do one this year. 

2018 151

Social Network Support Helps Turn Knitting Hobbyists into Hobbypreneurs

Small Business Labs

A recent academic paper -  Knitting Community: Human and Social Capital in the Early Transition into Entrepreneurship - covers research on the process hobby knitters go through to decide to turn their hobby into a business.

2018 171

Bleisure Travel Continues to Increase

Small Business Labs

We first reported on bleisure travel , which is the the blending of business and leisure travel, back in 2015.    A According to the folks at the expense reporting and management firm, SAP Concur, it continues to gain popularity. 

2018 180

Liveops Distributed, Work at Home, Independent Call Center Workforce

Small Business Labs

Liveops provides cloud-based call center services that utilize an on-demand workforce of agents who live in the U.S. The agents are independent workers who contract with Liveops and work remotely, mostly from home.

2018 166

Online Platforms Enabling the Rise of Global Micro Outsourcing Firms

Small Business Labs

Oxford's Internet Institute's research paper The Global Platform Economy: A New Offshoring Institution Enabling Emerging- Economy Micro-Providers covers how online platforms are creating an alternative to traditional outsourcing.

2018 162

This Old Marketing Farewell Episode: Sometimes the End Is a Beginning

Small Business Labs

PNR: This Old Marketing with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose can be found on both iTunes and Stitcher. . In our grand finale episode, Robert kicks things off by pondering the decision to end something, so that something else can begin.

2017 282

Use of Contract Labor by Small Businesses Continues to Grow

Small Business Labs

The IRS released their 2016 tax data on sole proprietors.    The data covers business receipts, deductions, and net income reported by taxpayers on Schedule C of tax Form 1040.

2018 195

More on Agility from Gallup and Catalant

Small Business Labs

After posting on corporations looking to increase their agility on Tuesday, we found two new reports on business agility in our mailbox on Wednesday. Gallup pointed us to their report The Real Future of Work: The Agility Issue.

2018 169

What Highly Skilled Independent Workers Want

Small Business Labs

The global accounting and professional services firm EY has developed GigNow , an external online talent platform. 

2018 186

Can Traditional Employment Match the Flexibility of Independent Work?

Small Business Labs

We've long found in our research that having work flexibility, autonomy and control are key reasons people become and like being independent workers (freelancers, contractors, self-employed, etc.). 

2018 175

"Everything, it seems, is a shared office these days"

Small Business Labs

The title of this post is a quote from the NY Times article  Sorry, Power-Lunchers. This Restaurant Is a Co-Working Space Now. The article covers Spacious , a startup that transforms unused space - especially restaurants outside of meal times - into shared workspaces.

2018 205

Study Finds Middle Aged Professionals Moving to the Countryside

Small Business Labs

A study out of the University of Minnesota found that in Minnesota while the younger adults were leaving small, rural towns, people in their thirties, forties and fifties were returning.    The chart below shows the key findings from the study.

2018 192

Poverty in America

Small Business Labs

In September the U.s. Census Bureau released the Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2017. It reports that 13.9% of Americans lived in poverty in 2017, which is statistically the same as in 2016. This leads to the obvious question what is - and why is there - a supplemental poverty measure.

2018 154

The Number of Nonemployer Businesses Continued to Grow in 2016

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Census recently released the 2016 nonemployer business statistics. Key quote from their press release : nonemployer establishments increased 2.0 percent from 24,331,403 in 2015 to 24,813,048 in 2016. Receipts increased 1.5 percent from $1.15 trillion in 2015 to $1.17 trillion in 2016.

2016 201

The State of the U.S. Heartland

Small Business Labs

Brookings and the Walton Family Foundation teamed up to produce The State of the Heartland. It's a detailed study of the U.S. Heartland using 26 socioeconomic variables to assess how the region's economy has been performing since the Great Recession. trends

2018 155

Independent Workers Feeling More Secure

Small Business Labs

One of findings that most surprised us when we first started researching independent workers was how many think independent work is more secure than traditional jobs. 

2018 188

According to LinkedIn, Most SMBs Use Freelancers

Small Business Labs

A recent survey by LinkedIn found that 70% of U.S. small businesses have hired a freelancer in the past and about 50% currently are using freelancers. LinkedIn also found most SMBs plan to hire more freelancers in the future.

2018 176

Digital Nomads Enter the Mainstream

Small Business Labs

MBO Partners last week released Digital Nomadism: A Rising Trend , a research brief on digital nomads. We worked with MBO Partners on this study. Digital Nomads are wanderers who have a location-independent lifestyle that allows them to travel and work anywhere they can plug into the Internet. 

2018 174

Upwork Going Public; Shows Maturation of Online Talent Marketplace Industry

Small Business Labs

The online freelance talent marketplace Upwork filed last week to go public.    According to the filing, Upwork has 375,000 registered freelancers and 475,000 client businesses located across 180 countries.    The company reported sales of $164.4 million in 2016 and $202.6

2018 169

Video: 7 Tips to Start Small Scale Manufacturing

Small Business Labs

7 Tips to Start Small Scale Manufacturing - Business Ideas for Product Makers is a fun and interesting video designed to help makers and other small manufacturers build their business. The video, below, is from the YouTube maker video channel from the highly energetic Evan and Katelyn.

2018 167

Duluth's Booming Artisan Economy

Small Business Labs

Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood was until recently a rundown section of this lake front city in Minnesota, with many empty storefronts and buildings. But now Lincoln Park is the center of a new artisan business boom.

2018 212

How Coworking is Changing Commercial Real Estate

Small Business Labs

Coworking has reached the size and scale where it's starting to have second order impacts on the broader real estate industry.    Farthest along is coworking's impact on office design.

2018 176

U.S. Non-Profit Sector: Big, Growing and Mostly Comprised of Small Non-Profits

Small Business Labs

The Johns Hopkins Non-Profit Economic Data Project recently released new data on the the non-profit sector of the economy. The data is for 2016 (the most recent available) and was developed in conjunction with the U.S. BLS ( click here to go the BLS's non-profit data landing page ). 

2018 163

Most Millennials Think Starting a Business is Risky

Small Business Labs

According to a report from the global financial giant UBS , 72% of Millennials say starting a business appeals to them. But at the same time, most say it's too risky to do.

2018 208

The Staffing Industry Analysts on the Gig Economy and Cloud Labor

Small Business Labs

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) recently released their U.S. Gig Economy - 2018 Edition report. They found that about 48 million Americans are in the gig economy, which is 31% of the workforce. They also found about 13.7 million Americans are human cloud workers. 

2018 151

Coworking's Unstoppable Market Growth

Small Business Labs

Liquidspace's Q4, 2017 U.S. Flexible Office Report covers the continued growth of coworking and other forms of flexible offices.

2018 207

The Return of Independent Bookstores

Small Business Labs

In 1936 George Orwell pointed out that one of the main difficulties of owning an independent bookstore is turning a profit. This, of course, was long before Amazon.

2018 207

Google's Shadow Workforce

Small Business Labs

Bloomberg's Inside Google's Shadow Workforce covers the use by Google of what they call TVCs, or “temps, vendors and contractors" According to the article about half of Google's workforce is comprised of TVCs. 

Google 176

Staying Unbiased in These Partisan Times

Small Business Labs

Since the founding of Emergent Research nearly two decades ago, our mantra has been follow the data to where it leads us. This requires us to minimize the impact of potential biases in our work.

2018 176

Uber Unveils Flying Taxi Prototype

Small Business Labs

Uber unveiled a flying taxi eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) prototype at its recent  Elevate conference. The prototype (below) is a cross between a really big drone and a small airplane.

2018 192

Survey: Almost 4 in 10 Americans Have a Side Hustle

Small Business Labs

Bankrate recently released a survey showing that 37% of Americans have some sort of side job.    The survey was of adult Americans , of which there are about 250 million. This means the survey found about 92 million Americans have side hustles. 

2018 180

Study: Corporations Rely on Their Non-Employee Workforce

Small Business Labs

SAP Fieldglass's External Workforce Insights 2018 study, 44% of workforce spend at large corporation is on external, non-employee talent. 

2018 192