Future Earnings

Melissa Shore

Senior analyst at Internet research firm Jupiter Research

In 2001, the divide between small-business "have and have-nots" will continue to diminish as bandwidth increases and prices of computer hardware and access become increasingly compelling. [Entrepreneurs] new to the Internet will migrate to the easiest activities, such as purchasing office supplies, while more sophisticated users will begin managing more of their business activities online. Web site creation and hosting offerings will become commodified and commonplace for both retail and service-based businesses. These offerings will continue to more directly fulfill the promise of new sales and new customers; initial offerings have evolved from simply a Web site offering to the inclusion of basic marketing tools, such as search engine submission and e-mail list purchasing.

By the end of 2001, successful Web site providers will help fulfill their promise of new sales for small-business owners by not only providing the platforms and the tools, but also bringing buyers of all types-consumers, small businesses, large businesses and the government-directly to the sites.

Leigh Smith

Director of small-business practices at Cyber Dialogue, an Internet customer relationship management company

We see financial services overall as the biggest growth area. Banking, bill paying and payroll are the industries that will pop next. And this is all being driven by the Net. [Online] banking and bill paying will go up by 22 percent, online accounting using ASPs will grow by 21 percent, and payroll will jump by 25 percent. There are currently an estimated 633,000 users of online banking and bill paying vs. 217,000 for payroll services. Typically, the larger the business and employee base, the more likely the company is to employ one of these services.

Kim Hastreiter

Co-editor/co-publisher of Paper, a pop culture magazine

Because of the Internet and the gentrification of our cities, the underground and the trends that come out of it are kind of in trouble all around because of the speed at which trends get absorbed and spit out. Now you're going to have to look for stuff in different places. There are still creative underground cultures and communities coming up all over-in places you wouldn't necessarily expect them to. There's a crack somewhere, and if you look into that crack, that's where you're going to find the new petri dish of creativity.

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Future Earnings.

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