Little Is the New Big

Every year over at USA TODAY, I write a New Year’s column wherein I look at the top trends in small business for the upcoming year. Not surprisingly, this year, the economy topped the list as it touched and changed everything, for good or ill (mostly ill).

As we are now on the back end of 2010, and while the economy continues to be the most dominating trend out there, I am already starting to look for other trends that are gaining traction and will likely continue to do so for the next year.

And while there are several I have noticed already that will likely make the list, one up-and-coming trend that is very interesting is the emergence of little over big, with the upshot being that this “little” trend is making work ever easier and more mobile.

It used to be that big was big. We had the big three automakers, the big three television networks, two giant superpowers, giant supercomputers, etc.

How very 1970s.

But today, little is the new big, and once you notice it, you can see it everywhere you look. The question then becomes, how will it affect your business?

Take computers as one example. Once, we were chained to our desks at work, plugging away on our desktop computers. Then, not long ago, smaller laptops came along, freed us, and changed how we work (and compute.) Not long after that came smartphones. Smaller yet, and even more freeing, smartphones enabled us to stay in touch from almost anywhere.

And now? Now tiny little, powerful apps on those small smartphones are making us even more effective and mobile. As a result, people are increasingly working whenever, wherever, and however they want.

You see the same little trend emerging online. Whereas content used to be created by a few large, powerful syndicates, now we have a plethora of little blogs and individuals making videos who are ruling the Internet.

So what about you and your business? It is the savvy business person who not only sees a trend like this, but works to capitalize on it. The question is – what can you do in your business that can make it sleeker, smaller, quicker?

I certainly don’t know the answer for you, your business, and your industry… but I bet if you noodle on it a bit, you do. And once you do, it will be anything but little for your business.

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