For small businesses, 2010 may be the year that saw the beginning of the beginning. Technically, the Great Recession ended in June 2009, and since then businesses of all stripes have hedged their bets, stepping cautiously toward growth. Careful footing it’s been, too, with hiring only beginning to show signs of improvement as the fall began.
Here at Verizon we offered our second year of small business webinars to help keep you better informed about trends and giving you access to some of the finest thinkers in the small business space. Would it surprise you that the free webinar with the most attendees was the one that kicked off the year? Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends gave a powerful presentation on “10 Quick Tips to Give a Boost to Your Website & Online Marketing.”
While that seems like a logical place to capture and focus the energy of a new year after one that had bottomed for so many, by the time the fall rolled around, the number two webinar attended showed an increased interest in the online space – “Build Your Own Website” by Intuit and the previous week’s, “Web Design Development and Best Practice” drew an interested audience.
A lot of what we write on this blog and share in our free webinars and elsewhere has to do with the use of social media. This year was capped off with Time magazine naming Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg its Person of the The Year. Again, no surprise that more and more businesses of all sizes are looking at how to put Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn and other social media to connect them to a broader audience and to interact more directly with their customers.
Many small businesses don’t feel they have the time to become social media experts and a large percentage (depending on the report you read, about 30 to 40 percent) still operate without a website or have a minimal online presence. Our market research pointed to this need in a big way, and we responded by making getting online easier with Verizon Websites Powered by Intuit and Web Listings which is still available at no charge for 12 months when you bundle voice and Internet service. It’s an unbeatable package and price.
As we look back at 2010, there may be some comfort in knowing that business is cyclical. Performance actually has begun to improve – something I saw in my own 401K savings plan. One of the selections available is the small companies’ equity portfolio. Now, granted, small by SBA standards is a business with fewer than 500 employees and, in some cases, more than $35 million in annual revenue. However, the small company return on investment this year increased more than 20%, better than the overall stock market and considerably better than more conservative investments.
So this tells us that 2010 brought some improvement but there’s more to come – so stay tuned and get growing! I look forward to hearing from you in the New Year.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.
Contact the editor: email@example.com