Top Small Business 2012 Predictions and Trends (Infographic)

NOTE: the Link Roundup is beneath this post.

Top Small Business 2012 Predictions and Trends

Tis’ the season to talk about small business 2012 predictions and trends and, this year, the online blogging community is delivering in spades.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I find predictions and trends posts fascinating for two reasons:

  1. I love the preview of what’s to come, and
  2. I love comparing this year’s predictions and trends to last year’s to see how the current year has changed the way we all think about doing business online.
The sheer number of predictions and trends posts makes it hard to pull out the top topics – the areas on which to focus in the year to come.

The only downside is that the sheer number of predictions and trends posts makes it hard to pull out the top topics – the areas on which to focus in the year to come.

Never fear however because I’ve done that work for you! That’s right, I’ve reviewed and analyzed 50 small business 2012 predictions and trends posts and broke them down into high-level topics for your consumption.

And, if you’re just looking for a quick look ahead, I’ve even compiled the top predictions and trends into a yummy infographic!

So read on and see what the future has in store for your small business in 2012.

Happy New Year!!!

Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012:
The Infographic

Below is the “Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012″ infographic. Below the infographic, you will find:

  1. A closer look at the top small business 2012 predictions and trends, and
  2. Links to the 50 small business predictions and trends posts for 2012 that I reviewed to gather data.

This is my first infographic so let me know if you like it in the comments below. :)

Feel free to share this image on your own site. All you need to do is include the link below either above or below the image:

http://www.mattaboutbusiness.com/matt-about-friday-the-top-small-business-2012-predictions-and-trends-infographic-edition/trackback/

Top Small Business Predictions and Trends - 2012

Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012:
A Closer Look

No Big Surprises In the Top 5 Topics

As in most years, the top predictions and trends are more about evolution than revolution:

  1. Mobile, the use of smart phones for anything from search to apps to purchasing goods and services, is poised to explode as the number of consumers who use mobile devices continues to grow. Expect businesses to spend more on advertising and marketing to those users via mobile devices in 2012.

    Along with mobile in general, SoLoMo (a contraction of SOcial, LOcal and MObile) is on the rise with a mix of features and benefits that just may pull most of the remaining offline businesses online.

    Lastly, it seems like everyone and their uncle has, or wants, an app of their own these days. Expect that trend to continue as the lure of engaged consumers is strong.

  2. Advertising and marketing continues to be a high-priority, with the race to stay afloat at the top of many a small-business owner’s mind. In 2012, more attention will be paid to new advertising and marketing platforms such as social media sites and mobile devices.

    Content marketing is expected to grow as a priority as inbound marketing efforts shift into high gear and the increased use of cross-channel marketing will continue to build a bridge between online and offline marketing efforts.

  3. Many businesses realized the benefits of cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SAAS) in 2011 and the future looks even brighter as we move into 2012.
  4. Social media continues to be a hot topic, but look for a much more concentrated focus on measurement and results. Return-on-investment is the clarion call for social media in 2012.
  5. Finally, e-commerce is poised to move onto new platforms as social media sites and mobile devices become virtual shopping malls.

Security? Yes Security!

One of the big topics for 2012 is security. Apparently cyber-criminals are getting sharper and businesses, even small businesses, had better take precautions. Here are some posts to help get you up to speed:

Other Predictions and Trends

Here are some other interesting predictions and trends that caught my eye:

  • Customer Engagement and Interaction – businesses will continue to engage customers for everything from product and service design to peer-to-peer customer service.
  • Business Intelligence – with big data moving to the cloud where it can be accessed and analyzed by businesses of all sizes, the use of data to spot trends and opportunities will continue to grow.
  • Daily Deals – daily deal sites have taken their share of knocks, but don’t expect them to go away. Look for refined offerings in 2012.
  • Reputation Management – the need, and ability, to track and respond to what folks say about you online will continue to grow in 2012 as social media networks flourish.

Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012:
The Infographic Links

Below, in no particular order, are the links to the 50 small business predictions and trends posts for 2012 that I reviewed to gather data for the infographic above.

  1. 5 Internet Marketing Trends for SMBs to Watch in 2012
  2. 5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business In 2012
  3. Top 10 SMB Technology Predictions for 2012 from the SMB Group
  4. 10 Small-Business Tech Trends for 2012
  5. Online Marketing Predictions for 2012
  6. The FreshBuzz Five: 5 Social Media Predictions for 2012
  7. 9 Small Business Trends for 2012
  8. Fantastic futures? Technology and business in 2012
  9. 10 top security worries for 2012
  10. Warning: Gloomy 2012 Forecast for Internet Security
  11. Security Predictions 2012 & 2013 – The Emerging Security Threat
  12. 2012 Business Trends: How to Stay Ahead
  13. Top 9 Rural Small Business Trends for 2012
  14. Social Media Trends Small Businesses Should Watch in 2012, Part 2
  15. 7 Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in 2012
  16. Schedulicity Releases 2012 Small Business Forecast
  17. Small Business Trends for 2012
  18. 2012 Predictions: Alicia Eler
  19. 10 predictions for 2012 in tech: the cloud, social, web ads
  20. 2012 Small Business Marketing Trends
  21. Top 5 Marketing Trends 2012
  22. Business trends in 2012
  23. Future Trends: 3 waves of change for small business in 2012
  24. 5 Marketing Trends Worth Watching in 2012
  25. Key Trends for Planning a 2012 Ad Budget
  26. 6 Big Internet Trends To Watch For In 2012
  27. Small Business Software Trends for 2012
  28. How will Digital Change Small Business in 2012?
  29. Something old, something new: Small business trends 2012
  30. Banking on Change: Software IT Spending Predictions for 2012
  31. 3 Small Business Trends to Watch for 2012
  32. 10 Local Business Marketing Trends for 2012 and Beyond
  33. 2012 Top 10 Ways Cloud Computing Will Change Businesses
  34. 2012: Social Media Marketing Trends
  35. Three Small Business Marketing Ideas for 2012
  36. Website Trends 2012
  37. 2 CRM Trends That Will Improve Your Business in 2012
  38. Top 10 Small Business Predictions for 2012
  39. Top Ten Public Relations and Social Media Predictions for 2012, From Affect
  40. 2012 Social Media Business Trends
  41. Ad-ology 2012 Marketing Forecast: Mobile is the Next Advertising Frontier for U.S. Small Businesses
  42. Digital Marketing Predictions : What will Small Business adopt in 2012 (http://www.onqmarketing.com.au/digital-marketing-predictions-small-business-2012)
  43. Six Social Media Trends for 2012
  44. Social Media Trends Small Businesses Should Watch in 2012, Part 1
  45. Social Media Predictions for 2012
  46. Social Media — 4 Trends to Watch in 2012
  47. 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report]
  48. Local Internet Affiliate Marketing Trends for 2012 and Beyond
  49. Social Media Trends 2012 – Analytics and Measurement
  50. FranNet 2012 Trend Predictions: Franchise Industry Will Continue to Grow

Weekly Link Roundup

Weekly Link RoundupNote – the weekly link roundup will return next week. After the post above, I’m just all linked out! :)

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Comments

  1. Thanks Matt
    A comprehensive list of what we may expect in 2012. I’m keeping this on safe – a valuable post.
    Cheers
    Tania

  2. Great infographic! Valuable data. I will show it on my blog.
    regards,
    Aleksandra

  3. Thanks so much for compiling this information. What a timesaver!

    I’ll share it with my network.

  4. Wow, this year LOOKS promising! I think we have just entered the year of possibilities and the outlook seems to be positive. I’m excited to see newer technologies that will bridge the communication gap on the Web, making it easier for us to connect on a deeper level – anytime, anywhere. As for social media, I think we’ll see more talks on hard core ROI this year and how to measure things…so it can be improved. More success to all this 2012!

    • Shaleen,

      Thanks for your comments!

      Yes, the year ahead looks to be an interesting one from an evolutionary standpoint – more focus on mobile “anytime/anywhere” and social media ROI.

      Even more intriguing, what revolutions and disruptions will rear their head, overturning everything we know now? :)

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great 2012!!

      -Matt

  5. Thanks for sharing this compilation and nice work on the infographic.

    One thing I’d add to this list is that SMBs disaster preparedness plans will be put to the test in 2012. Last year, we saw an increase in the number of disasters with the U.S. experiencing a record 10 weather catastrophes costing more than a billion dollars.

    Here at Symantec, recent research revealed that SMBs do not understand the importance of disaster preparedness. Half of SMBs do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, and 41 percent said that it never occurred to them to put together a plan while 40 percent stated that disaster preparedness is not a priority for them.

    The greater likelihood that SMB owners will need to put their disaster recovery plans in action in 2012 puts increased pressure on SMBs to be prepared for disasters in the New Year. More SMBs who have not previously had to implement their disaster recovery plans will see them tested by Mother Nature in 2012.

    For additional insight on this trend, one of my colleagues posted four resolutions for SMBs to be better prepared in 2012: http://bit.ly/wUMkaQ

    Chris Halcon
    Symantec

    • Chris,

      Thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful comment!

      Disaster recovery is certainly an important topic! Luckily, moving to the cloud to run your small business can also handily serve as a decent disaster recovery plan as many cloud vendors have already taken disaster recovery steps (such as storing data in multiple data centers) and, if you cannot get to your own computer, you can use anyone’s to access your solutions and data.

      When evaluating online solutions, SMBs should make sure to ask cloud and SAAS vendors if they are indeed prepared for a disaster.

      -Matt

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