Business bloggers sure love to make predictions (yes, we're guilty of this too), and this is the time we love to do it. But as a business owner, it's important to understand the landscape of the business you are in and how it's changing before you can finalize your plans for the new year. That's why we put a list of trends (with links to the articles) that you should pay most attention to this year.
This list simply wouldn't be complete without one of our favorite sites on the subject: smallbiztrends.com. And while the link we chose probably isn't necessarily full of predictions about emerging areas of focus, we still feel this is the best place to start (especially for new business owners). We won't be mad if you don't come back and read the rest of our suggestions. It's that good.
Social media isn't a fad anymore. In fact, if you aren't in the game already, you're way behind. That's why it isn't a 2012 trend itself, instead, the way technology trends are shaping the social media game is the focus. This article is SPOT ON in assessing the direction and focus for big changes to the social media landscape this year.
This article lists 6 simple and smart areas most small businesses may want to focus in 2012, starting with smartphone, mobile, and cloud computing. But perhaps more importantly, it focuses on trends that allow big business to cut into the small business marketplace. Information that's valuable to a small business owner in order to enable them to compete with the big boys.
There's not a whole lot of optimism in the marketplace right now and forecasters predict 2012 isn't looking too much better. Large companies (particularly) are still looking for ways to improve efficiency and cut their overall workforce, while recruiters and smaller businesses ramp up to find the right person for their open positions. These 6 workforce trends won't have you skipping for joy in 2012, but they may give you an edge in the hiring game if you pay attention.
Information technology continues to be a focal point for most of the emerging and trending business activities in 2012, and few articles hit on the most important few like this one. Mobile technology and how it shapes the rest of the tech world isn't just a trend, it's a game changer.
A big area that might see a welcome market growth as businesses adapt to the mobile market is SAAS. Cloud computing and other similar services will be vital to the communications solutions of businesses both big and small who are vying to stay relevant. These three trends (see link) will provide some fantastic insight to how that will happen in 2012
All this focus on technology has brick and mortar retailers squirming at the thought of lost business. And 2012 will probably be no different. So in order to survive as a small business in a down economy that's increasingly internet/mobile crazy, you need to find a way to either take advantage of or buck the trends. But knowing what they are is the first step…this article should help.
While most of these predictions are fairly specific and not necessarily “trends” there's a few gems in this article that can't be ignored. SLOMO being a big one, the convergence of social local and mobile. Not only will this be a continued trend in the social media space, but taking full advantage of it in your business niche simply can't be ignored.
If there's a single trend in the above articles it's the emergence of mobile as a business focus. More specifically, mobile marketing. As a result of the smartphone and mobile industry, nternet marketing is quickly being fragmented, and it's no longer acceptable to focus on search engine optimization and social media without considering the implications of this trend. And while this article isn't “trend” focused, per se, the interview with Jamie Turner gives some fantastic insight on how that area will change the way you think about marketing this year.