The Rise of the Global Small Business

- July 27, 2012 2 MIN READ



Ten years from now there will be millions of “Global Small Businesses” (GSBs). There will be so many that it will surely form a new category of business.

A GSB isn’t like a big global business and it’s not like a traditional small business either. As the name suggests, these are businesses that have less than 10 staff but aren’t limited by geography. They have reach into cities all over the world and could easily be making millions in sales despite a relatively small headcount.

Most commonly they will be service providers however many will also sell high value physical products that can be sent whizzing all over the globe to customers in  far away cities. A lot of GSBs will also have valuable Intellectual Property that they license to their “local partners”.

GSBs will have incredibly well developed brands, making them look much bigger than they are. They will be built around a “micro-nich” and they rely heavily on a few Key People of Influence.

They will communicate on Skype, market themselves using social media, manage their operations in the cloud and be based wherever it makes sense from a tax and ip protection standpoint (I predict Singapore being a front runner).

The GSBs will have their top talent working from home and meeting in rented boardrooms on a weekly or monthly basis. Due to multiple time zones the edges of work and play will blur. Performance will be more important than hours clocked –  “the only truth is the results” is the new mantra for managing employees of GSBs.

GSBs will become an attractive alternative to white collar employment. Professionals like lawyers, accountants, consultants and managers will define a “micro-niche” and then leave traditional employment in favor of their own GSB startup.

Lifestyle and flexibility will be a huge advantage for a GSB. Correctly structured, the owners of GSBs will pay little tax compared to their employee counterparts. Many GSB owners will split their time living in 2-3 locations to avoid income tax altogether.

Having an GSB will create an enviable lifestyle. A GSB isn’t like having a traditional, local small business that prevents the owner from traveling and limits the money they can make to the local economy.