Good news, small businesses. The playing field is being leveled.
For generations, small businesses looked enviously at their larger competitors--seeing the technologies and resources they had at their fingertips to advance their business goals.
Today, though, many of the most advanced technologies, especially the ones in the field of data gathering and analysis, are readily available to businesses of all sizes.
This is a game-changer.
Aided by technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), small businesses of all sizes, including those with no employees, have never been in a better position to compete with larger, more established businesses than they are today.
Armed with the insights from the data generated by such technologies, small businesses are able to innovate, disrupt and evolve from small business to big business seemingly overnight. Few are better positioned to understand small businesses and the technologies that serve them than Intuit QuickBooks.
Alex Chriss, senior vice president & chief product officer, Small Business and Self-Employed Group for Intuit, says that it wasn't many years ago when small business owners and solopreneurs were at a huge disadvantage.
"A few years back small business and the self-employed were really the underdogs," Chriss recalls. "They were fighting with one arm tied behind their back, they had less access to data, less access to robust tools, less access to capital and yet they had to fight in a world that's heavily competitive and sometimes favors those with more access to resources and tools necessary to survive."
When QuickBooks was created more than twenty years ago, it was created with the intent to simplify the lives of small business owners so profoundly--they couldn't imagine going back to the old way. While QuickBooks has evolved and advanced through the years, that same commitment and spirit led to Alex Chriss and his team's aha moment.
Chriss and his team at Intuit were determined to find a way to turn the tables in favor of the small business owners even more so than before, leveraging emerging technologies that could change the trajectory of small business growth and progress. The key to doing this was to leverage the learnings from Intuit's database of ~50 million users. This massive proprietary database, when seen through the prism of AI and ML, provides profound insight into the way smart business decisions are made.
The best way to learn any new concept is to teach it to others. Here are a few new ideas that I’ll be talking about with all the other accountants I know, based on what I took and learned from QB Connect.
Carolyn Rodz @carolynrodz— Building compassion: The role we all play in building unbiased businesses: As we turn more of the interactive experience away from humans and over to machines, it’s important to consider the implications. In this session, we’ll walk through how to improve the user experience through smart, but thoughtful, technology, and how to ensure that users feel like you’re talking to, and not at, them.
The colors we choose, the words we write and the calls to action across sites impact more than a users experience; they can have major societal impacts with long-term implications. You can implement strategies that can reduce bias and ensure a more inclusive outcome.
Paco de Leon @hellyeahgroup — Freelance Finance: A Toolkit for the Self-Employed: From bookkeeping to tax planning, the self-employed often find themselves in new territory when it comes to managing business finances. We learned how to avoid financial gotchas and create a solid foundation for future business success. First steps being set aside weekly finance time, next always separate business from personal and know your numbers!
Your financial world can feel like a ball of wax. And all the information out there on the World Wide Web is dense, hard to understand can be more overwhelming than helpful. So instead of feeling confident, you're more lost.
Steve Pipe @stevepipe— How to Become an Inspiring (and Profitable!) Practice: Do you want to be good at what you do, or do you want to be inspirational? In this eye-opening session, we learned how being an inspirational accountant or bookkeeper is the key to a better future (and a better world). We discovered a step-by-step system for how to become inspirational, and how it can lead to extraordinary success, happiness, and profitability for your entire firm.
Get Bossy: Develop Next-Generation Leadership Skills-Christine Tao, Pek Pongpaet, Shane Metcalf, Waseem Daher: You started the business, now you’re growing a team, so what does it mean to be the boss? In this session, we heard from founders and CEOs who have built fast-growing, multi-million-dollar companies (bootstrapped and venture backed) on how they balanced the demands of building a business while developing their own leadership style. We heard how they lead themselves, their teams and their organizations and take away some actionable tips to becoming a more impactful leader.
Only the queen bee can do this, and the hive is organized around protecting her to enable her to keep doing this. Make your Queen Bee Role the focus of what you do every day.
If you attended, what were your takeaways from QuickBooks Connect? And what will you do to put those new ideas into action? I’ll be checking back in a few weeks to see how you’re doing.