Small Business Labs

The New Multinationals: Small, Micro and Solo Businesses Driving the Next Wave of Globalization

Small Business Labs

Globalization and international trade was once driven almost exclusively by large multinational corporations. No longer.

2017 76

Need for Agility and Skilled Talent Driving Growing Corporate Use of Contingent Workers

Small Business Labs

Ardent Partners recently released their 2017-2018 State of the Contingent Workforce Management report. Ardent Partners is an analyst firm focused on corporate procurement and supply chains.

2017 75

Trending Sources

Proposed Senate Tax Bill Would Change Gig Worker Classification and the Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

Senate Republicans are turning to the gig economy for new revenue to offset their proposed tax cuts. They are including a safe harbor provision for gig workers in their tax bill proposal (for those who are so inclined, see the section starting on page 151 of the document).

2017 57

Coworking Industry Competition Heating Up

Small Business Labs

The coworking industry is getting more competitive.    Recent examples include stories about coworking spaces  offering of a year's free rent to prospective tenants , reports of coworking spaces spying on competitors and coworking spaces closing down due to growing competition.

2017 70

Upwork's 2017 Freelancing in America Study

Small Business Labs

Upwork and the Freelancers Union released their 2017 Freelancing in America study last week. This is the 4th year of this study. The key finding is the estimated number of freelancers continued to grow in 2017, reaching 57.3 million, up from 53 million in 2014.

2017 70

More Forecast to Cycle Between Traditional Jobs and Independent Work

Small Business Labs

MBO Partners released a list of their 10 predictions for the next decade of independent work. The list covers a lot of ground and all the predictions are interesting.

2017 76

Will Consultants be Replaced by AI?

Small Business Labs

Since we're consultants, we hope not. But that's thesis of HBR's  AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants.

2017 86

Small Business Owners Getting Older and Not Planning to Fully Retire

Small Business Labs

According to Barlow Research, the average U.S. small business owner is 60.3 year old. As the Barlow chart below shows (click to enlarge), 57% of small business owners are over the age 60, up from just 38% a decade ago.

2017 81

Employees of Large Corporation Not Happy at Work; The Self-Employed Are

Small Business Labs

PwC's  Work-life 3.0: Understanding how we'll work next  is a fascinating look at how workforce dynamics are changing.    The study covers a lot of ground, but what really jumped out at us was their their findings on worker happiness. 

2016 130

Uber Promotes Worker Flexibility

Small Business Labs

Uber's  "180 Days of Change" campaign , which is designed to improve the Uber driver experience, is getting a positive response for both the media and drivers.

Coworking Forecast - 26,000 Spaces and 3.8 Million Members by 2020

Small Business Labs

Coworking is booming. The industry is growing and hybridizing so fast , we're having a hard time keeping up with it. 

2020 124

Very Small Companies Create a Lot of Jobs

Small Business Labs

Over the past three decades companies less than 1 year old with 1 to 4 employees have averaged creating more than 1 million jobs per year.    That's a lot of jobs.    Less surprisingly, 86% of all new employer companies have between 1-4 employees.

2016 115

Upwork and the Paradox of Place

Small Business Labs

The average distance between buyers and sellers of services on the talent marketplace  Upwork  is over 1,000 miles. If you look at transactions where the buyers and sellers are both in the U.S., 96% of the buyers and sellers are more than 50 miles apart.

2016 106

Book Review: Thriving in the Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

"How to capitalize and compete in the new world of work" is the tagline for the book Thriving in the Gig Economy. This nicely summarizes this useful guide to the shift to independent work.    The book starts with an excellent overview of the gig economy.

2017 75

The Rise of Smart Farms

Small Business Labs

Tech startups are increasingly targeting agriculture. This is leading to a range of new companies and technologies focused on improving farm efficiencies and creating smarter farms.

2017 86

Tech Jobs Moving to the Midwest

Small Business Labs

companies have long moved work overseas to save money. But a long emerging trend of moving work to lower cost areas of the U.S. instead of overseas appears to be gaining steam.

2017 73

Thomas Friedman Embraces the Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

The well known New York Times columnist, best selling author and pundit Thomas Friedman wrote a very bullish article on gig work last week. Self-Driving People, Enabled by Airbnb focused on the gig work being created by Airbnb's "Experiences" platform.

2017 75

Self-Employment and the Attributes of the Dream Job

Small Business Labs

Gallup's The Dream Job covers the key attributes employees look for in a job. These  These are: the ability to do what they do best. greater work-life balance and better personal well-being. greater stability and job security. a significant increase in income.

2017 92

Asia's Surging Middle Class Driving Global Growth

Small Business Labs

While it's hardly new news that Asia's middle class and economies are growing, it's still worth looking at the amazing numbers behind this. According to  Asia: Leaning In , a report from the giant global investment management firm KKR, Asia's middle class will increase from 1.4

2017 58

The Rise of Solopreneur Manufacturing Companies

Small Business Labs

The Wall Street Journal's Big Growth in Tiny Businesses nicely covers a trend we'e been following for years - the growth of solopreneur, non-employer manufacturing businesses.

2017 98

More Industries Moving to the On-Demand Economy

Small Business Labs

The On-Demand Economy is commonly defined as the economic activity created by online marketplaces that fulfill customer demand via the provisioning of goods and services immediately or much faster and/or easier than traditional firms. 

2017 89

The Growing Use of Online Talent Marketplaces

Small Business Labs

One of the more interesting findings from the MBO Partners State of Independence study is how much the use of online talent marketplaces has increased over the past 6 years.

2017 77

The Gig Economy Pivots to the Enterprise

Small Business Labs

Over the past few months there's been almost a stampede of gig economy companies talking about the corporate market and/or announcing new services, products or initiatives aimed at serving large corporations.

2017 64

Mapping Key Emerging Technologies

Small Business Labs

Maps are a popular way of displaying emerging technologies and how important they are and/or how quickly they will impact business and society. Almost all technology analyst firms produce maps. They do this to try to display complex information in a simple, digestible form.

2017 77

Most Small Businesses Started by Investing Less than $30,000

Small Business Labs

Most small businesses in the U.S. were started or acquired with less than $30,000 in invested capital. To be more precise, the median small business was started with about $27,000.    The chart below is based on data from the U.S. Census 2014 Survey of Entrepreneurs.

2016 102

Why Coworking is Booming

Small Business Labs

Back Channel's The “Work from Home” Dream Doesn’t Work  provides an excellent overview of the trends and shifts driving the coworking movement. Simply put, the article explains why coworking is working.

2017 92

The Business of Work/Life Integration

Small Business Labs

A growing number of firms are offering services and products based on the trend towards work/life integration. This is the shift towards work, home and life becoming increasingly blended.

2017 76

3D Printing Moving Past Prototyping to Large Batch Manufacturing

Small Business Labs

After literally several decades of hype and hope, it appears 3D printing may finally be starting to deliver on its promise to change manufacturing.

2017 58

The Staffing Industry Analyst's Human Cloud Framework and Taxonomy

Small Business Labs

Last week the Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA) released The Human Cloud, the Gig Economy & the Transformation of Work. It nicely covers the topics mentioned in the report title.

2017 60

The Expanding High Skill Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

More and more professions that require advanced degrees or highly specialized skills are joining the gig and/or on-demand economy. A good example is law.    Crain's The gig economy comes to law  covers the expanding use of contract lawyers.

The Rise of the Independent Professional Working for Businesses

Small Business Labs

Getting lost in the various debates around the "gig economy" is the size and growth of the segment of independent workers who provide professional services to businesses. 

2016 117

Why People Work in Coffee Shops and Why This Means Coworking Will Continue to Grow

Small Business Labs

I ran across a really interesting post in Medium titled What are People Working on in Coffee Shops ? The title is a bit misleading. It's really about what people are working on in a single coffee shop in Venice Beach, a hip and trendy L.A. beach community just north of Santa Monica. 

2016 108

The Multstage Life and Self-Employment in the On-Demand Economy

Small Business Labs

Recent research by future of work expert Lynda Gratton  suggests due to longer life spans the traditional life stages - education, work and retirement - no longer work.

2017 82

The Surprising Demographics of Small Business Owners

Small Business Labs

Because of the extensive media coverage of young tech entrepreneurs, most people think the average small business owner is a 20 something techie who needs a shower.    But as the chart below shows, the median American small business owner is a bit over 50 years old. 

2016 104

Staffing Industry Research Firm Says There are 44 Million Gig Workers

Small Business Labs

The Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA)  recently released a study showing that nearly  30% of the U.S. workforce are gig workers. This works out to be about 44 million Americans. They also found that contingent workers represented $792.4 billion in staffing buyer spend.

2016 99

Growing Direct Selling Industry Employs Over 20 Million Americans

Small Business Labs

According to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), about 20.2 million Americans are involved in direct selling the U.S. This is up from 15.8 million in 2010.    Also known as multi-level marketing, retail sales by direct selling companies increased from $28.6 billion to $36.1 billion.

2017 77

Highly Skilled Self-Employed Driving the Growth of the Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

The Resolution Trust, a left leaning U.K. think tank, released a study showing that 60 per cent of the growth in self-employment in Great Britain since 2009 has been in what they call the "privileged" sector.

2017 83

Etsy Makes it Easy for Sellers to Move Off Etsy

Small Business Labs

One of the challenges online marketplaces face is sellers often do their best to move their customers off the marketplace to their own ecommerce site. They do this for two main reasons. First, they want to avoid the fees associated with selling through a 3rd party marketplace.

2016 106

"As a Freelancer My Career is a Constant Classroom."

Small Business Labs

One of the more interesting findings from the Intuit On-Demand Economy (ODE) study is the large number of people who say learning new skills is a key reason they work in the ODE.    Across the entire sector, 17% of ODE workers listed this as a reason.

2016 94

42% of Young Small Businesses Use Contract Workers

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Federal Reserve released the their Report on Startup Firms. This is the second in a series of reports based on their 2016 small business credit survey. 

2017 62