This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Group Manager Barb Anderson , who talks about small business needs.

Enjoy!
Stephen Ibaraki

Barb AndersonBarb Anderson is Intuit's Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Global Small Business. In this role, Barb is responsible for developing strategic marketing plans and delivering customer-focused communication to support Intuit's portfolio of small business products and services.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

DISCUSSION:

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:42:
Barb profiles the economics and demographics around small business in Canada and in the US.
"....As it relates to the trends specifically around demographics, we are seeing the 'changing face' of entrepreneurs or small businesses in North America....We are seeing people getting into business because they want the flexibility. We are seeing the mom-preneurs, the senior-preneurs, career-preneurs...."

:02:39:
Do you see any impact upcoming in terms of the millennials or Generation Z?
"....The mix of idealism, confidence and being risk-averse, coupled with being very technically astute, makes them very ripe for entrepreneurship...."

:04:14:
What are your additional predictions for the future in this sector?
"....Technology is providing greater mobility and accessibility for small business....Analytical tools and how they are helping small businesses with productivity....Social media being used as a support network and a marketing tool...."

:06:35:
What impact will new technologies have and how should businesses plan for and implement them?
"....Greater flexibility....Allows them to compete globally....Allowing partnerships with larger organizations...."

:09:09:
How is Intuit working with businesses to ensure their success?
"....We are always out talking to small businesses and trying to learn about small businesses so that we can come up with products and solutions that can help them overcome those needs and hurdles...."

:10:46:
Please highlight important milestones in your career and what lessons for success you wish to emphasize.
"....For those of us who support small business we need to recognize that role and how important financial management is for them...It's about those things that you can do that were less tangible and puts you into the hearts of your customers....You cannot go far enough engaging with your customers, walking in their shoes and understanding how they use your product and what problems they are encountering...."

:15:03:
What are top lessons and tips can you share from the projects you have worked on and from your global leadership role?
"....Walking in your customer's shoes....Rewarding your customers and recognizing them....Getting the organization focused on the customer...."

:16:41:
What do you see as the top challenges facing us today and how do you propose they be solved? If you were conducting this interview, what questions would you ask, and then what would be your answers?
"....Lack of time and the increasing pace of our lives....An additional question I might ask is: Why do you like working in this space and why do you like working with small business?...."