Trillion dollar missed opportunity: Emerging nanobusiness sector overlooked by ICT firms
Omnisperience, a provider of business-to-business (B2B) service provider industry insights and market strategies, has identified an emerging nanobusiness opportunity for ICT firms. In the company’s latest green paper it outlines that this hidden sector of the business market is a huge opportunity for information & communications technology (ICT) firms looking for new sources of revenue, but Omnisperience argues it is currently being overlooked.
The business market is traditionally divided into large enterprise, SME and microbusiness segments, says the market strategists; but over the last few years the digital capabilities provided by ICT companies has resulted in the emergence of a new type of small business, which Omnisperience has termed the ‘nanobusiness’.
“Omnisperience defines a nanobusiness as a business that employs less than one full-time worker. It encompasses businesses that sell goods, creativity, services, labour or influence, as well as those that allow the commercial sharing of something that the person already owns,” says Teresa Cottam, chief analyst.
The Gig Economy and Sharing Economy are part of this new category, but nanobusinesses do more than just sell labour or services on digital on-demand platforms. The category also incorporates selling physical goods, creative products and even influence. It includes the ‘grey’ area where work and play overlap and hobbies are monetised for financial gain.
The nanobusiness opportunity for ICT companies
The nanobusiness sector is an important one for ICT companies for two reasons, says Omnisperience:
- nanobusinesses rely on their mobile devices as essential tools to sell their labour, goods and services, and to connect with customers. They also need a host of other ICT services to enable them to create, deliver their services and run their businesses
- bigger businesses that want to utilise the services of nanobusinesses require communications, collaboration and cloud-based solutions to acquire and manage the skills they need, distribute work, and organise workers from anywhere in the world.
Nanobusinesses may represent the seeds of larger businesses and a growing opportunity for those catering for them, but even when they don’t grow much bigger they still represent a huge trillion dollar opportunity for ICT providers. Omnisperience believes that instead of selling technology such as 5G, ICT firms should take a more customer-centric approach and focus on what customers do with this technology, building profitable, configurable solutions that address the needs of nanobusinesses.
“The side gig is going mainstream and is a huge opportunity,” says Omnisperience chief analyst, Teresa Cottam, author of the green Paper ‘Nanobusinesses – A New Business Category’. “Nanobusinesses are breaking down the barriers between work and play, liberating labour and services from location, and driving new forms of flexible working that allow people to work when it suits them. They are opening up new pools of workers who previously found it hard to work in a more formal environment.
“Increasingly,this is not just students and parents balancing childcare,” adds Cottam, “but the Grey Workforce that wants to continue working beyond traditional retirement age – albeit not necessarily full time. The nanobusiness is the future of work.”