According to most of the small business owners, economy is one thing that stands between where you're today and growth of your company. As 2012 unfolds and owners of small business continue to face weak economy, knowing and setting the strategy for the upcoming year is your first responsibility as the owner of the business.
Today, the technology, economy and the customer's mindset have affected every small business around the world. It is also said that women-owned businesses possibly will have an edge next year. In order to know the best strategies to use, to lay out the place for success for your business over the next 1 to 3 years, you need to know what's going on in your industry, and what the trends for small business are. Small businesses have better to be prepared to bring on their 'A' game next year. Hence, here are some small business trends for 2012 and beyond.
Segmentation makes difference
As more small business move to social media, mobile, digital and other methods, and marketing dollars remain tight, targeting specific consumer "segments" becomes easier as well as compelling. So, your small business should analyze existing consumer and target markets to identify those that are most profitable.
Technology disruption accelerate
Social media marketing, "cloud" computing and mobile commerce are three rapidly growing mega trends and are reinforcing each other at the same time. The software cost will drop dramatically, as the same functions become available at cheaper rates or even free online.
Comeback of Co-marketing
In the past years, business with complementary services and products are often teamed up to market them, for example, a movie theater and restaurant. In a slow-growth, such partnerships can help businesses get more out of their marketing while delivering value-added services to customers.
More and more mobile
Usage and ownership of different mobile devices, such as smartphones is skyrocketing, and researchers have been amazed by how rapidly some small businesses have moved to the mobile commerce. The adoption of mobile technology has occurred more rapidly than any other technology of the last 100 years. Hence, it’s necessary that your business is visible on mobile.
Social media marketing
Now, all the debates about social media's power are over. It's now a part of the day-to-day marketing fabric of just about any business, from local to large one. So, your small business must utilize the benefits of social media marketing.
In a slow-growth economy, great ideas and innovation will be your most valuable asset. In the upcoming year, small businesses will use more web-based computing and other easily-available, low-cost technologies to execute faster. Don't just fall into the trap of great ideas; some game-changing ideas are out there waiting to be spotted.
Today, the cyber criminals are finding complex ways for taking the advantage of business owners' personal information. They are including that information on relatively open social networking sites. And small businesses are easier targets of cyber criminals, since many don't have the expertise or associate strong anti-virus programs with high expense. Therefore, your small business must add heightened security to its mobile devices and IT systems.
Global goes local
After years of outsourcing, sourcing and manufacturing of services is shifting back local again. Buying locally continues to gain ground, because the rising cost of transport will force larger consumers to buy locally. In addition, a new generation of lost-cost automated manufacturing equipment is makes small businesses competitive again.