Small Business 2013: What You Should Expect
Posted by Guest Author on January 14, 2013 in Business News [ 1 Comment ]
As 2012 is coming to a close, it’s important for small businesses and entrepreneurs to reflect on what worked and what didn’t to better prepare for the New Year.
And, amongst the long list of your things to do before 2013, (in addition to resolutions!) you should also be aware of the trends that can affect your small business.
Knowing the trends, and what your entrepreneurial peers are involved in, can give you a jumpstart on your own preparations along with being ahead of the game. Here, at PayPro Business, we give you a look into the five 2013 trends for small businesses.
1. Mobile Will Reign
Let’s start with a 2012 trend that will still go strong in 2013. Mobile. According to Statista.com, the number of U.S. mobile shoppers is expected to hit 111 million by 2015 with iPads driving more online sales than any other phone or tablet (Source: NYTimes).
Knowing that, do you feel your website is mobile friendly? Take a look via a smartphone or tablet and see what customers are seeing. If your small business is an Ecommerce site, consider grouping your categories into easy to press buttons in the mobile version. Large text and visual usability will be much appreciated for the visitor.
App development is another option; some app examples are:
- Games – One of the most popular apps to develop
- Database Driven – Content that can be organized and displayed
- Enhancements to the device’s hardware – Flashlight, alarm, camera etc
- Dynamic – Relies on external information like Weather, Twitter
- Custom – Allows users to input content in a certain way
2. Increased Usage of Cloud Solutions
Cloud computing is not new, but 2013 will most likely see an increased usage or at the very least, more comfortable usage from small businesses. You may already be using such solutions like DropBox, Apple’s iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive or Google Drive for cloud storage and file synchronization.
For small businesses, this means team members or clients can see the most updated document in real-time, share calendars, and perform word processing, resulting in faster communication and knowledge sharing. It’s also an efficient way to extend your storage space in addition to backing up information should anything happen to your tech peripherals.
3. Crowdfunding Kickstart
In 2011, the crowdfunding industry raised $1.5 billion and grew 63% from the previous year (Source: Inc.) In 2013, it’ll be even more promising as soon as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) puts into effect the rules that outline how the Jumpstart Our Business Startup (JOBS) Act will be enforced.
Signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 4, 2012, the Act is still currently on hold, while 100s of crowdfunding sites are waiting in the wings to launch once the Act goes into effect allowing startups to potentially raise a lot of money by using crowdfunding to sell equity in their businesses.
4. SEO Diversification
For many, SEO is the most important and organic way to gain traffic from a search engine, and with the “Panda Scare of 2011” (a Google algorithm update that affected 12% of websites and since then have rolled out 20 smaller updates), business owners are scrambling to keep their website fresh, non-duplicative, and trust-worthy. Panda updates aren’t going away, so for 2013, it’s time to diversify!
- Diversify your anchor text so not every hyperlink reads the same
- Diversify beyond Google and include Bing into the mix
- Diversify your keywords and spread them out on your website to be read naturally
5. Content Creation & Curation
Content creation is essentially the “new SEO.” Your blog posts and any other content that’s updated to your site, provides fresh information that signals to search engines that you’re well alive and kicking. 2012 saw a huge boost of this; terms like “content creation strategy” and “content marketing” were synonymous with “social media.” As 2013 comes, more brands will up their game in providing even more valuable content for their readers. If you haven’t started yet, now is the time!
As you can see, most of the above 2013 trends are not entirely “new” or ground-breaking. However, it does show that they do have longevity and businesses will continue to adopt and adapt to these trends.
Photo credit: bpmwatch.com
Bio: Alice Ly writes for PayPro Business, an Ecommerce System and Merchant Services Provider for small businesses to create customizable online stores with payment processing. Follow PayPro Business via Google+ and Twitter, too!