Small Business is Growing Big

Growth Being Driven by A Shift to Creative Culture

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Six foot roses. Removable tattoos. Electricity from wave power. Your new bank? Hedge funds.

Noelle Weaver Noelle Weaver
These are just a few of the 10 big ideas for 2007 as defined by Fortune Magazine's recent article "Everyone Wants to Start a Business." The same article also contained a few interesting statistics on how much small business has grown here in the states. For example:

  • There are 30,000 more startups in the U.S. than in 2004, and 12% more than at the height of dot-com hysteria in 1996.
  • 66% of respondents in a 2006 Yahoo Small Business and Harris Interactive survey said they wanted to start a company someday; 37% of those said they hoped to do so within the next five years.
  • In 2005, 25% more American immigrants started companies per capita than native born citizens.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that more businesses were created in the first quarter of 2006 than during the same period the previous year.
Big or small it seems that almost everyone wants to own a business these days. From college students who are actively studying how to become entrepreneurs to retirees who have decided they aren't quite ready to sit down yet.

For a long time, business was defined by left-brain thinking. Analytics. Logics. Adding up the numbers. It's no mystery that today business is being driven by innovation and right brain thinking. We, as a country are shifting from an information based society to a creative one.

The success stories of YouTube, MySpace and Apple are prime examples of how we've moved to a culture that values creative thinking.

What does this mean for a 'right brain' industry like ours?

Many of the new companies being formed today are putting premiums on skills that encompass inventiveness, emotional intelligence, imagination, quick decision making skills and teamwork. It means that big companies and the Fortune 500 will need to find ways to keep up. For some this will mean acquisitions. For some this will mean creating new revenue streams. We can also probably expect to see more management and staffing structure shifts in the coming year as established players try to figure out how to drive the most innovation out of their company to help feed the bottom line.

In the future brands and companies will be rewarded for taking risks and speaking to the heart not the head of the consumer. And in the future the idea will be rewarded.

As an industry this may all be good news for us. Fed up with the establishment and always reporting to 'the man' more small agencies will form. The growth of small and mid-sized businesses will help to drive new opportunities and clients. The big shops will be driven to look upon the small shops for innovation, new ideas and the ability for rapid-response. In addition, by nature, while other corporations struggle to find stand-out talent in the shrinking talent pool, more and more individuals will be driven to find those companies who are in the right mind.
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