It seems everyone – from Google, to Facebook, and now Apple – is recognizing the strength and value of small businesses not only as economic drivers, but as customers and partners for their own businesses.
Case in point, Apple’s launch of Joint Venture. The new program is focused on helping business owners set up their Apple products, train their employees, and make sure everything works smoothly through dedicated support. To me, this is a big statement coming from a company that’s been so focused on minimalism. Apple’s choosing to extend its services to small business shows how important small business owners are to Apple's future.
Joint Venture may have launched without any iPad 2 type hype or headlines, but Google’s rumored $6 billion offer for Groupon late last year sure did. Headlines aside, Google’s interest in Groupon shows a similar interest in building a greater relationship with small business. If you don’t see the connection, or why Google would be so interested, read this article by John Battelle, Thinking Out Loud: What's Driving Groupon? He attributes Groupon’s phenomenal growth to their ability to tap an economic engine, to connect small businesses with customers – much like Google did with AdWords.
At OPEN, we’re also focused on small business – have been for a couple of decades – and we’re excited to see the number of companies and other organizations that are joining what we see as a small business movement. Included in that are the more than 130 small business advocate groups, public and private organizations, and elected officials that joined American Express in recognizing Small Business Saturday last November. They all contributed in their own ways: Facebook, for example, provided free advertising to 10,000 participating small businesses.
While I believe there’s a real small business movement underway, I’d like to hear your thoughts on it:
- How do you feel about the companies that say they’re helping small businesses?
- Is it all talk, no action? Is there more that can be done?
- Is there more information we can provide to help you become more aware of the various offerings?
Please share your thoughts below in the comment section so others can learn as well.