"The next few years will see an acceleration in the number of small and micro businesses, thanks in large part to new technologies that reduce the costs and risks of operating a small business and open up access to customers around the world," Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research, said in a statement. "While running a business is always going to be tough work, economic and technological changes are making it easier and cheaper to start and operate a successful small business."
The study's authors highlight five key reasons that will not only fuel the growth of small businesses, but will allow them to compete with big businesses like never before.
Top-notch technology: Small businesses now have the ability to build sophisticated business and technology infrastructures that previously were only available to large companies. Cloud computing and manufacturing and distributing capabilities are now available with a cost structure that allows small businesses to scale up and down and only pay for what they use.
Deeper insight: Access to insightful data is giving small businesses the capability of gaining deeper customer and business insights. Access to machine learning has taken away much of the complexity of data analysis, which allows small businesses to make faster and better decisions. The on-demand workforce: By the year 2020, freelance workers are projected to represent 43 percent of the workforce. This gives small businesses access to the right people at the right time in a flexible way, without the responsibility of hiring traditional employees. Online marketplaces: Online outlets are giving small businesses the ability to not only sell more niche products and services, but also to extend their reach to millions of customers that they previously never had access to. Affordable advertising: Online advertising has made it cost-effective to connect with customers worldwide. For a fairly low cost, small businesses can deliver their targeted messages, whether it be a sponsored photo or in-stream video ad, to a whole new audience.