The Latest in Small Business: Trends and Predictions

We live in some incredibly exciting times for small business, despite some of the frequently circulating fears and uncertainties. Consider what it means to a new business today; to be able to sidestep many of the traditional startup costs, and take the common example of a new local cafe utilizing Square, the fully mobile PoS system.

Small Business - buildings_windows

There is no question that today is a tremendous time for small businesses. In fact, one of the small business markets’ greatest cumulative strengths is its diversity, representing a powerful economic force comprised of millions of unique individuals, business plans, and niche-impressions.

When there are some 28 million small businesses across the country at any given moment and that collective economic force accounts for over 54 percent of all sales, including 40 percent of all retail, we can at least be comfortable in seeing things going strong.

The positive uptrend does not end there, as the predictions for small business for 2017 are exceptional.  However, let’s first explore the next piece in this picture which is analysis and the supportive statistical data.  This particular data indicates that small business has utterly exploded – by nearly 50 percent — since the 1980s.  When the rise of the Wal-Mart-style corporate giants in the 1990s, and their massive displacement of America’s workforce occurred, it was small business that came back to fill the gap, adding over 8 million new jobs to the economy when it needed it most.

Predictions or Predictors?

When it comes to small businesses, monitoring the trends and forecasts for 2017 should prove quite telling. Analyzing trends for predictive purposes is far easier than most would think. After all, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re among those shaping and contributing to the very trends we’re talking about. Think about your Smartphone, and what it represents: a handheld, sleek device connecting you to the entire repository of human knowledge (and so, so much opinion); it’s your wallet, your timepiece, your calendar, etc.

On a related note, a great deal can be comparatively summarized under the following umbrella of technological aspects:

  • Mobile development:  Perhaps the single most tell development that shows us people demand in-the-moment technology (such as UCaaS, Voip, BYOD). The list goes on and becomes more creative, more innovative, every day.
  • Digital transformation:  Perhaps best summed up by a popular business blog: “Social networking will connect consumers with what they want, minus a direct sales pitch.”
  • Data driven marketing:  The tool by which the sound small business-person remains: in-touch with their customers, competitive, and discovers new opportunity.

Small Business - Professional man with glasses

So what more do small businesses need to know for the coming year?

Be ready to rock with the boat. There are major changes on the political and economic landscape – both nationally and globally. Your reaction time and adaptability may well be tested. Are you prepared?

Fred Coon, CEO

 

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