This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

The Digital Skeptic: Small Business Will Save Us? It's a Lie

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Ron Daniel's more skeptical about the digital-age prospects for small businesses than I am -- and that's saying something.

"Everybody talks about the number of small businesses increasing. But that is not true," this hard-driving Israeli-American, founder of small-business tech platform company PlanetSoho, told me from Tel Aviv. He had tracked me down, figuring I'd be about be about the only numbers nerd willing to listen to his new research.

"The time each stays in business has dropped from three and a half years to two," he said. "It's getting worse out there. Progressively worse."

Investors should know that Daniel is no neutral agent. PlanetSoho sells Internet-based word-processing, client-tracking, marketing systems and other small-biz tools to what he says is just north of a million companies worldwide. Think Google (GOOG) Apps for Business, or Microsoft (MSFT) Office 365, or any one of a number of other biz-apps, but tweaked for startups. And I have to say, as small-biz Web apps go, PlanetSoho works. Pretty much what every business needs to do business is there, from customer management to task tools to docs. The value add is that there's a sort of a syllabus lurking that prompts users on which system to deploy and when. The price is also right: Paid plans start at $5 per month.

Daniel is betting his mix of handholding and technology will give small firms a better chance of survival in our take-no-prisoners digital age. (And grow his business.)

"It's about managing the risk of starting on your own," he explained. "Handling that fear of failure."

What makes Daniel worthy of wider investor interest is that, unlike the seemingly endless chorus of small-biz startup shills -- let's be honest, Richard Branson and Chris Anderson are not shy about ginning up the joys of little businesshood -- Daniel is surprisingly stark about the realities of surviving in the 21st century.

"This whole idea of the trickle down, going from big companies to small, it's just not happening," he said. "Starting your own business gets progressively harder and harder."

This has dramatic market implications, particularly for investors spinning valuation multiples in the sky for such small-business-focused enterprises as Intuit (INTU), American Express (AXP), GE (GE) and even Staples (SPLS - Get Report).

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SPLS $16.12 0.00%
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
TSLA $185.00 0.00%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs