Small business trends seem to fluctuate as much as the weather but there are also some that continue from year-to-year like franchising. If you are an entrepreneur and you’re looking for information on what trends are going to be strong this year you’re in luck because we’ve put together a blog based on information we’ve already seen in the first four months of 2013. While the information below may not exactly tell you what small business opportunity is best it will serve as a guide to the possibilitiesand the pitfalls. Enjoy
With America’s high unemployment rate expected to continue due to tax issues, mandated government healthcare and the uncertainty of many new regulations, hiring in corporate America is not expected to increase anytime soon. It is for that reason that franchising is expected to grow by leaps and bounds. Not only is it a viable career alternative for executives but franchising is also an opportunity in waiting for recently graduated college students who can’t find employment in the regular corporate world.
The new 1099 – K form that the IRS put into place to help small business last year has instead been a cause for alarm and extra stress for many small business owners. One of the reasons why is that, if the figures that a business reports on their tax return don’t exactly match their 1099-K, it can trigger an IRS audit, something that historically has never been much of a party. Not only that but, if a small business does not have a tax identification number (TIN) they will have taxes withheld at 28% until they can provide one.
Not surprisingly, customer service like the kind that people use to find in most stores and service companies all over the United States has once again begun to trend, especially with the support of digital tools that most small businesses have acquired. These new tools, most of them either online or featured on mobile smart phones, have provided small business owners with a way to return to traditional, high-quality customer service at a relatively low cost. By expediting non-core business functions they allow owners to again focus on delivering excellent customer service.
Social media has had a big hand in this trend as more and more small businesses have started asking for and gathering customer feedback through websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and the omnipresent Facebook. As more and more small businesses take advantage of this powerful new medium customer service has slowly but surely risen back to the forefront in their minds, rather than just customer acquisition.
Another trend that has been growing for quite some time is health and wellness. The reason; America is quickly getting older as more and more baby boomers are reaching retirement age every day. When you couple this fact with the fact that people are living longer lives than ever before you can see the obvious need for health and wellness companies and indeed they are springing up like mushrooms in a pile of fresh manure.
What an interesting trend that has been seen recently is that, after major catastrophes like floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, the small businesses that were quickest to get back up and running were the ones that did most of their business in the cloud. Frankly we see this as a very smart and safe move because, when information and services are cloud-based, they are not only easily accessible by anyone, from anywhere with any device, there is nothing physical that can actually be destroyed or lost due to any force of nature.
One of the biggest trends in small business is the growing reliance on tablets like apples iPad and Google’s Nexus 7. Tablets offer incredible opportunities for mobility and the ability for a business owner to handle daily tasks from anywhere, something that can cut down on many time and energy wasting chores. A small business can leverage apps on their tablets to accept payments, create invoices and keep up with accounting chores, saving not only time but revenues and man-hours.
The way we see it, those are some very interesting trends and will shape the way small businesses do business throughout the rest of 2013 and into the foreseeable future. We hope you enjoyed our blog and that you found it quite trendy (pun intended!). Please take a moment to bookmark our website and come back to visit us sometime soon as we’re always looking for new trends, financial information and tips to give to you, our dear readers. See you then.