2010 Small Business Global Outlook

Small business 2010
Small business 2010

Will small business and the topics surrounding it hot in 2010? According to Google Insights, global interest of search engine users on small business topics is declining – less competition for you and me, perhaps?

If you haven’t tried to use Google Insights, you should try now – the Google tool can give you enough insights (hence the name) on the topic or keywords you specify.

In my case, I would like to know how small business – the business itself and the topics surrounding it – fares in 2009 and will fare in 2010, Internet-wise.

Internet search’ trends for Small business topics in 2009

The search results are pretty much… insightful, if not surprising. Just consider this graph depicting interest on small business over time – You can see the whole picture by searching ‘small business’ on Google Insights:

Interest on small business
Interest on small business

Small business topics are declining over time since 2004 and there is no sign of improvement in 2009 and highly likely in 2010, too. Maybe it’s due to the global recession?

However, there are some interesting developments on global small business. Consider this information:

Small business regional interest
Small business regional interest

As you can see, there are rising interests in African region for “small business” term. Bostwana, Uganda and Zambia lead the pack as the regions with the most interest on small business topic searches on the Net. And looking at the ‘heat map’ on the right side of the snapshot above, regions in Africa enjoy significant search volume for “small business” term.

How about the rest? The US and Australia enjoy a healthy interest on “small business” term on their Internet search total, while the rest of the world’s searches are as cold as the weather in Iceland.

For those who search on the Internet for small business topics, they look for these terms:

Small business search terms
Small business search terms

“small business server” and the other Microsoft-related terms, such as “office small business,” “microsoft small business” and “microsoft office 2007” (at ‘breakout’ search increase) dominate today. The recent launch of Microsoft Windows 7 and the Suites are pretty much driving people’s interests in small business software-related topics.

Other than Microsoft-related topics, small business grants and loans are on Google search users’ mind lately (the users are most probably small business owners and small business enthusiasts themselves.)

What the above signify?

Although Google Insights measures only online searches originating from the Google search engine, it gives us a good, big picture of the small business world. As people use the search engines (in this case, Google search engine) to seek something they interest, it’s safe to say that small business topics are not high on their things-to-search list.

It is the end of small business, online? I don’t think so.

I don’t know about you, but I view the declining search value for small business as an opportunity.

It’s probably about time for small business to re-strategise their online marketing campaign; It’s probably the right time for the small business-related sites online to experience “natural selection,” which results in quality sites (either business presence site or informational site) to stand out, while the low-quality sites disappear; And ultimately, it’s probably THE time for small business to use social media strategies and campaigns more than ever, whether you like it or not, to win more prospects.

A question needs answering: Is the Google Insights’ results on small business-related searches signify that the recession will continue to negatively impact small business in 2010? Have your say by commenting on this article :)

Ivan Widjaya
2010 Small business outlook

SMB Authors

This article is one of the excellent contributions from small business owners, decision makers and professionals.