Small Business Labs

The Independent Worker Surge

Small Business Labs

After falling by 7% in 2020 due to the pandemic, the number of independent workers (freelancers, independent contractors, gig workers, etc.) rose to 51.1 million in 2021, an unprecedented 34% increase. This is the key finding from MBO Partners 2021 State of Independence research study.

2021 222

Tropical Island Digital Nomads

Small Business Labs

The Wall Street Journal's  Some People Worked From Home During Covid. These People Moved to a Tropical Island  covers the growing number of Caribbean islands offering digital nomad visas and includes interviews with people taking advantage of these visas.  

2021 219
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America's Growing Diversity

Small Business Labs

According to the 2020 census, between 2010 and 2020 the white population in America declined  by 5.1 million.      And as the chart below (click to enlarge) nicely illustrates, all of America's population growth in the past decade came from people of color.  

2021 212

The Rise of Ecommerce Nomads

Small Business Labs

The Verge's Road-Tripping With Amazon Nomads looks at people who travel across the country looking for merchandise they can sell for a profit on Amazon.

2021 237

Retirees and the Gig Economy

Small Business Labs

According to the American Enterprise Institute's (AEI) The age re-retirement: Retirees and the Gig Economy , 20% of retired Americans also work in the gig economy. The article lists the usual financial reasons for working in retirement.  

2021 224

Air Taxi Company Joby Went Public

Small Business Labs

The urban air mobility (buzzword alert) company Joby made its public markets debut last week.    As with many new public offerings, it was done via a SPAC. The company is developing a five-seat electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, pictured below in-flight (click to enlarge).

2021 213

The Pandemic Increased Interest in Self-Employment

Small Business Labs

Forerunner Ventures' The universal holding pattern: a period of trial followed by an era of opportunity   covers survey work they've done on the impact of the pandemic on consumers. One of their main findings is the desire for empowerment and independence has increased. 

2021 275

What are Gigfluencers?

Small Business Labs

Influencer marketing has become a popular way for companies to promote their brands.    According to Influencer Marketing Hub, brands are expected to spend $13.8 billion on influencer marketing programs in 2021.

2021 241

"Hotel on Wheels" #VanLife Firm Cabana Raises $10 Million

Small Business Labs

Cabana rents custom-built Ford Transit vans that include beds, storage, bathrooms, and Internet access.    Their tagline is "a hotel that travels with you"   They're hoping to tap into the large and growing number of #Vanlifers.

2021 224

Moment House and the Blending of Social Media and Digital Entertainment Experiences

Small Business Labs

Moment House is a live streaming, interactive social media platform for digital entertainment. Newly launched in 2020, Moment House has produced over 700 concerts, called “moments,” selling one million tickets through its platform.

LA's Creator Townhouse Community

Small Business Labs

The Hollywood Reporter's New Studio City Townhouses Draw Digital Creators Thanks to Hybrid Zoning covers a new townhouse community designed for artists and creative professionals.      Quite unusual in LA, the townhouses have live/work zoning approval. 

2021 193

Online Platforms Supporting Digital Nomads

Small Business Labs

Platform Professional's  Platforms and Digital Nomads  covers online platforms supporting digital nomads. Key quote: "Platforms may not have created the phenomenon of the digital nomad, but they are making it easier to become one."

2021 224

Small Business Applications in May 2nd Highest Ever

Small Business Labs

May was yet another banner month for new business applications.    As the U.S. Census chart below shows (click to enlarge), 500,219 business applications were filed in May.    This was the second highest number of applications filed since this data was first collected in 2005.

2021 207

The Creator Economy Monetization Features of the Major Social Media Platforms

Small Business Labs

Axios' Tech giants have all become creator companies covers the various ways digital creators can earn money on a variety of tech platforms,  Their excellent summary chart is below (click to enlarge). The article also makes a good point about the diversity of digital creators.

Post Pandemic, the Hybrid In-Office, Remote Work Model is the Most Favored

Small Business Labs

By late last summer, it became clear that most companies would likely move to a hybrid working model , which combines increased levels of remote work with in-office work. The Washington Post's recent article T he hybrid office is here to stay.

2021 225

Interesting Study on Content Creators

Small Business Labs

the Tilt , a content marketing site, recently released The Unconventionals , a survey and study of online content entrepreneurs. They describe content creators as: "Content entrepreneurs (CEs) make money by turning valuable and interesting content into revenue streams.

2021 173

YouTube Has More Than 2 Million Global Creators in its Partner Program

Small Business Labs

YouTube recently announced that more than 2 million creators worldwide are participating in their partner program.      They also say that over the last three years, they've paid more than $30 billion to content creators. 

2021 155

What is Ultra Wideband?

Small Business Labs

Apple recently announced AirTags , which they describe as: AirTag is a supereasy way to keep track of your stuff. Attach one to your keys, slip another in your backpack.

2021 219

The Post Pandemic YOLO Movement

Small Business Labs

YOLO is an acronym for "you only live once", which was popularized by the rapper Drake a decade ago. We learned this interesting fact from the New York Times article Welcome to the YOLO Economy.  

2021 219

Combo Social Club/Coworking Space Soho House Went Public

Small Business Labs

The high-end combo social club/coworking space Soho House went public last week   under the name Membership Collective Group (ticker symbol MCG). Soho House is targeted mostly at creative professionals and has 30 current locations across the globe. 

2021 176

CB Insights Creator Economy Map and the Rise of Content Monetization

Small Business Labs

CB Insights is a technology analyst firm covering emerging technologies and tech startups.    They just released a creator economy market map , which is below (click to enlarge).

2021 193

The Rising Net Worth of the Less Affluent

Small Business Labs

Bloomberg's The Comeback of the Bottom Half covers Federal Reserve data showing that the less-affluent 50% of Americans saw their net worth rise the fastest over the past decade.

2021 217

The Long Term Shift in Business Applications to Solopreneurs

Small Business Labs

In the early 2000s, about 60% of all new business applications were from businesses planning on having employees.    The other 40% were from solopreneurs who did not plan to hire employees.

2021 236

Most Musicians Earn Little on the Music Streaming Site Spotify

Small Business Labs

The Rolling Stone article The Rosy ‘Creator Economy’ Is Music’s Biggest Lie discusses the dramatic lack of revenue for many artists involved in the creator economy. 

2021 155

JungleScout's State of the Amazon Seller

Small Business Labs

JungleScout provides a platform that helps small businesses find, launch, and sell products on Amazon.    They recently released their 2021 State of the Amazon Seller Report.

2021 219

Whatnot - A Live Streaming Person-to-Person Collectibles Marketplace

Small Business Labs

Whatnot , which bills itself as the best marketplace for collectors and enthusiasts on the internet, recently raised a $20 million funding round led by A list VC Andreessen Horowitz.

2021 223

American Express on The Rise of the Digital Nomad

Small Business Labs

American Express recently released its annual Global Travel Trends report.      And not surprisingly, one of their trends was on digital nomads.    Key quote from the report: " 54% of respondents (U.S.)

2021 223

Digital Nomad Numbers Skyrocket Thanks to Work From Anywhere

Small Business Labs

The number of U.S. digital nomads grew from 7.3 million in 2019 to 10.9 million in 2020, a 49% increase. This data comes from COVID-19 and the Rise of the Digital Nomad , which is the report on the third year of an ongoing research series on digital nomads conducted by MBO Partners.

2020 266

LinkedIn's New Freelance Marketplace

Small Business Labs

Fortune's LinkedIn’s new Marketplaces will help freelancers find work covers a new online freelance talent marketplace being developed by LinkedIn. Like other online freelance talent marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork, Marketplaces will enable businesses to find, hire, and pay freelancers.

2021 225

The Demographics of Nonemployer Business Owners

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Census has released new demographic data on nonemployer businesses.      Nonemployers are businesses that have an owner but don't have paid traditional full or part-time employees (W2 employees).

2021 214

Why Traditional Employment Limits Flexibility

Small Business Labs

The Hill's Gig firms seek Mass. ballot measure classifying workers as contractors covers the plans by a coalition of rideshare/delivery companies to do a ballot measure in Massachusetts that would classify their workers as independent contractors.

2021 159

New Business Applications Continue to Surge

Small Business Labs

Over the past 6 months new business applications have surged.    As the U.S. Census chart below shows (click to enlarge), the surge is continuing with 492,000 applications filed in January. This us up 73% compared with last January. 

2021 226

Forerunner Ventures on Solopreneur Commerce

Small Business Labs

Forerunner Ventures was founded about a decade ago with a focus on direct-to-consumer ecommerce brands.    And they've invested in some of the most successful companies in this space, including Bonobos, Warby Parker, Jet, Dollar Shave Club and others.

2021 170

It's Time to Upgrade U.S. Economic and Labor Statistics

Small Business Labs

Sometimes we post articles on topics few people are interested in.    This is such an article.      But you should be interested because the economic and labor data collected by government agencies no longer provide the information we need to properly understand and manage the U.S. economy. Over the past week several sources explained the problems with government data collection efforts and made suggestions on how to improve them.

2021 168

We're Nearing Peak Fossil Fuel Demand

Small Business Labs

McKinsey's Global Energy Perspective 2021 suggests the global demand for fossil fuels will peak in 2027 and steadily fall afterwards.  

2021 208

The Long Term Shift to Contract Labor by Small Businesses

Small Business Labs

Data from the IRS shows that sole proprietor small businesses spent $69.2 billion on contract labor in 2018 (the most recent data available).    Contract labor refers to nonemployee labor, such as freelancers, gig workers, etc. This is up from $64.8 billion in 2017 and just $34.4

2018 191

The Texas Power Outage and the Rise of Microgrids

Small Business Labs

Both of the partners at Emergent Research started their careers as economists, specifically energy economists.

2021 219

The World Economic Forum's 2021 Global Risk Report

Small Business Labs

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risk Report identifies the top risks faced by businesses and society over the next decade.  

2021 228

Small Business Mobile Banking Use Varies by Generation

Small Business Labs

Barlow Research Associates A Generational Shift in Business Banking Behaviors Is Upon Us, and It's Not Just Among Your Millennial Customers covers the banking transaction channels used by small businesses by the age cohort of the owner.

2021 146

What is Good Information Hygiene?

Small Business Labs

Edelman released their 2021 Trust Barometer , which is an annual global study on the level of trust citizens have in institutions. The Trust Barometer focuses on trust in governments, corporations, NGOs and the media and Edelman has conducted this study for two decades.

2021 229

The Growing Role Small Businesses and Independent Workers Play in Corporate Ecosystems

Small Business Labs

McKinsey's Ecosystem 2.0: Climbing to the next level summarizes ecosystem 2.0 as: In the emerging world of Ecosystem 2.0,

2021 226

CNBC's Ultimate Side Hustle Guide for 2021

Small Business Labs

The number of people who have side hustles (also called side gigs) has been growing rapidly over the past 5 years.      The reasons for this growth - and how to start and run a side gig - are nicely explained in CNBC's extensive field guide The Ultimate Side Hustle Guide.

2021 224

How the Pandemic Changed the Way Americans Spent Their Time

Small Business Labs

The New York Times article More phone calls, less shopping: how the pandemic changed American lives, down to the minute examines data from the American Time Use survey to show the changes in how Americans spent their time last year.  

2021 159