Small Business Predictions for 2012

A new year is right around the corner and I, for one, am looking forward to a great year! Based on feedback from my clients, and my own experience in 2011, it seems that there are some early signs of an uptick in consumer demand for products and services. Here’s hoping that’s true and that it’s something that all of you are benefiting from. I was recently asked by a business reporter and colleague for my small business marketing predictions for 2012 – here they are:

  • In 2012 we will see an increase in small business start-ups as those who are currently unemployed, or recently graduated, decide to strike off on their own rather than waiting for jobs to open up. There are great opportunities, I believe, in many areas for entrepreneurs and innovators to offer products and services to a wide range of markets – domestically and abroad.
  • Related to this trend, I think there will be an increase in “virtual” businesses – businesses that don’t, necessarily, have a “bricks and mortar” presence, but are operated online with resources comprised of people living literally (and virtually!) anywhere.
  • And, also related…I think we will see a continuing increase in the contract workforce, people who work for a variety of businesses, rather than just one. It’s a flexible option that suits those out of work or newly in the labor force and a great opportunity for both them and the organizations they work with to benefit from varied viewpoints and a broad skill base.
  • While we will see an increasingly reliance on social media, I think there will be a greater realization that social media efforts need to be monitored, tracked and analyzed to measure effectiveness. Related to this, I see a declining trend in the use of Twitter and an increasing use of Facebook and LinkedIn. It’s too early to predict, I think, whether Google+ will become a major player.
  • Although the world is becoming increasingly smaller and we all have access to a myriad of products online, I think there will be an increasing demand/interest among consumers in local products/services and increasing support of small, entrepreneurial businesses.

Of course – I could be wrong! What do YOU think 2012 will hold for small businesses?

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