Recently, we’ve started to see some signs of turnaround in the economy, and some interesting conversations are sure to be had during the Small Business Administration’s annual National Small Business Week kicking off in Seattle and across the US on June 17. It is exciting to see this infographic and report from Babson College citing a record high number of startups in the U.S. in 2012. According to the report, 13 percent of the U.S. adult population is currently engaged in entrepreneurship; a significant jump that Forbes highlighted as a positive pulse point for the American economy.
Clearly small businesses have a big impact on the economy around the work and it’s energizing to see the increase in confidence and optimism among American entrepreneurs. At Microsoft we do a tremendous amount of work with small businesses around the world, and we believe access to modern technology can play a key role in the successful launch and success of a new business. Cloud-based services are now giving even the smallest businesses access to the same computing power, presence, and ability to compete, as the largest enterprises. Technology has literally changed the face of small businesses, allowing commerce and personal connections to flourish from a basement in Birmingham to a boardroom in Beijing – scaling business success like never before.
We’ve seen success stories like this from our own customers around the world- such as Facilium, the Errigle Inn, the British Ballet Organization and Play and Learn – as they’ve adopted cloud services through Office 365 and enhanced the way they’re able to work across multiple devices. We’ve seen them get up and running quickly, with minimum IT knowledge required. They’ve found that working in remote locations and collaborating is easy with online meetings via Lync, the ability to share and collaborate on documents in the cloud and being able to use Office on any PC with Office on Demand.
And then there’s the bottom line. Funding to start a new business isn’t easy to come by, and the Babson study shows that 82% of entrepreneurs rely on personal savings and contributions from family and friends to fund their new business. They need cost effective technology resources that deliver the same power as enterprise businesses get without the overhead of an IT department. Office 365 Small Business Premium provides features such as enterprise-grade email and conferencing that are simple to administer for the cost conscious price of $150 per user (estimated retail price) for an annual subscription, the equivalent of $12.50 per user per month. Get started today with a free 30-day trial. As Peter Drucker said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
To celebrate National Small Business Week, please visit a Microsoft Store in your area, where you can learn more about products and services that can help support your small business.