Since all the hoopla about the Mayans proved to be untrue, we’ve once again reached “prediction time” – the time of year when everyone publishes their small business 2013 predictions.
I received a lot of great feedback for my “Top Small Business 2012 Predictions and Trends Infographic” last year so I thought I’d spend some time creating one again for 2013.
You see, the only downside to “prediction time” 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 once again! That’s right, I’ve reviewed and analyzed 70 small business 2013 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 handy infographic!
So read on and see what the future has in store for your small business in 2013.
Happy New Year!!!
Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2013:
Below is the “Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2013″ infographic. Below the infographic, you will find:
- A closer look at the top small business 2013 predictions and trends, and
- Links to the 70 small business predictions and trends posts for 2013 that I reviewed to gather data.
- Feel free to share this image on your own site. All you need to do is include this link either above or below the image: http://www.mattaboutbusiness.com/top-small-business-2013-predictions-and-trends-infographic/trackback
- Click on the infographic image below to view a bigger version.
- You can also download this infographic as a PDF.
Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012:
A Closer Look
Some Old and Some New Faces In the Top 5 Predictions and Trends
There are some new, and very compelling, faces in the top 5 this year. And, even though three of last year’s top five are still around, focus has shifted in new directions.
- Mobile, continues to dominate the top five predictions and trends however, businesses are starting to move beyond “being mobile” to strategies and tactics that are enabled by the mobile platform:
- SoLoMo (the convergence of social media, local marketing and the mobile platform) continues to be a hot topic of conversation however, there’s a new term that’s buzzing strong, “Context Marketing”. Essentially, context marketing means delivering the right message to the right person at the right time, the holy grail of marketing. Look for lots of activity in the race to deliver “personalized” marketing.
- The ability to pay, and accept payments, via a mobile device is the key to the “Mobile Wallet”. Many solutions are already available with many more to come. And, when the mobile wallet is combined with loyalty programs such as points or number of visits, we’re going to see this trend explode.
- Having a website that looks good no matter on what device it is viewed is called “Responsive Design”. At the core, this means having a mobile-ready website, one that looks good on phones and tablets alike. Talking about tablets, the huge number of tablets now out in consumer’s hands is driving designers to use the tablet interface as the standard upon which all content will be designed to be viewed.
- Advertising and marketing continues to be a high-priority for small businesses however, there are a couple of new trends to which you should pay attention:
- Visual marketing, videos in particular, seem to be the new standard for content delivery online. Videos can be informative and entertaining, something that customers like very much. Look for more videos (both good and bad) and a new focus on YouTube as a marketing platform.
- Thanks to the many changes in search engine optimization (SEO) rules during 2012, content marketing will continue to be the key to attracting attention online. Included in that are the subcategories of content filtering, curation and aggregation, all valuable types of content that help customers cut through the noise to find the information they need.
- Social media continues to be a hot topic, but it’s almost taken for granted that a small business needs to be there these days. Two interesting new trends include:
- The impact of social influencers, those with strong followings on the various social media networks, will continue to grow and can be harnessed by smart marketers who make use of those influencers to reach their followers.
- “Social TV” and “Social News” are two new terms to me, but they’ve both been growing in popularity over the past few years. Social TV is the ability to comment and share during a show’s airtime and social news is the trend where “citizen reporters” are posting the news that others consume. Both of these trends have begun to change both the way we are entertained and the way we learn about the world around us.
- Business intelligence makes its debut this year with a focus on three important trends:
- “Big Data”, that pool of information that businesses collect about each of us, will continue to be mined for any and all insights into consumer buying behavior, wants and needs. 2013 will likely see big data become more accessible to small businesses so that they can start reaping the rewards of analyzing you and me.
- More and more small businesses will pay close attention to their website and social media metrics. They will analyze and act on what they find as well, all in an attempt to maximize their return on investment (ROI) which…
- …is the final piece of the business intelligence puzzle. Armed with real-time metrics and reports, small businesses will be able to change their courses mid-stream and maximize the return on all their hard work.
- Lastly, one of the most interesting new trends arising in 2013 is the increase in Customer Power. Customers could always make or break a small business, but now they can reach both far and wide. Using review sites, social media updates, forums and more, they can praise you or complain about you and there’s not much you can do about it (aside from slander). The key to success here is twofold:
- Give them a safe place to complain by building relationships and communities online. If customers feel that they can be served there, then they will head on over before posting a bad review or bad-mouthing you on Facebook.
- And, for those times that bad things do happen, small businesses need to make use of reputation management tools and techniques so that those situations can be quickly (and hopefully happily) resolved.
Other Predictions and Trends
Here are some other interesting predictions and trends that caught my eye:
- The Power of Crowds – yep, the use of crowdfunding, crowdsourcing and crowdsolving will continue to grow in 2013.
- Remote Workforce – with the ability to collaborate from anywhere and the growing trend to hire non-permanent workers such as freelancers, 2013 just may be the year of working remotely.
- Micro Startups – with so many folks still out of work, the rise of successful solopreneurs serving niche markets will continue.
- Shift Back Towards Paid Content – a couple of the posts I read argued that this was bound to start happening in 2013. I’ll be interested to see if this model, which did not fare to well a few years ago, will regain a foothold online.
Finally, Some Good Resources and a Bit of Fun
- Good roundups to check out:
- Interesting overall trends:
- REALLY Useful!
- Some fun:
- Great new terms to learn: MomPopolies, Glocalism Are Key Trends in 2013
Top Small Business Predictions and Trends 2012:
The Infographic Links
Below, in no particular order, are the links to the 70 small business predictions and trends posts for 2013 that I reviewed to gather data for the infographic above.
- 2013: Adding Context to Content
- Your Guide to Mobile Marketing in 2013
- 7 Hot Trends for Small Business in 2013
- 2013 Business Predictions for Small Business Owners
- Hyperlocal Execs’ 2013 Predictions: Goodman, Tolles, Kucharz, and More…
- SMB analytics: Deconstructing 3 small business predictions for 2013
- Dydacomp Shares Top Predictions for Small Business in 2013
- Emma Jones’s 2013 Small Business Predictions
- Tech trends to transform small business in 2013
- The 2013 Marketing Predictions: Content Marketing And Social Business
- 5 Trends That Will Shape Small Business in 2013
- 7 ‘Small Business’ Social Media Trends for 2013 with Mike Roberts
- Small Business Owners Think Local For 2013
- 14 Experts Predict 2013 Social Media Trends for Small Business
- 5 Trends in 2013 That Small Business Owners Can’t Afford to Ignore
- Top Franchise Trends for 2013
- 8 Online Reputation Management Trends and Predictions for 2013
- Seven big trends for small businesses in 2013
- Four small business marketing trends for 2013 (Video)
- 13 small business marketing trends to watch in 2013
- The Rise of Big Data
- The Workspace of the Future
- Using Transparency to Build Consumer Trust
- 5 Small Business Trends to Embrace in 2013
- 2013 Startup Trends
- Growing Small Business Trends for 2013
- 6 Small Business Marketing Trends For 2013
- 2013 Online Marketing Trends For Small Business
- 5 Hot E-Commerce for Small Business Trends to Watch
- 2013 Technology Trends for UK Small Businesses
- Four Small Business Trends For 2013
- Five Top 2013 Trends for Small Business Social Media Engagement Using Content Marketing
- 3 Small Business Marketing Trends for 2013
- Social Business: 5 Trends To Watch For 2013 And Beyond
- 5 Key Trends That Will Play A Pivotal Role For Your Small Business in 2013
- Marketing Trends In 2013 – How Will They Affect Your Small Business?
- Three SMB tech trends to watch in 2013
- 9 Online Marketing Trends For 2013
- Trends for 2013: Making Mobile-First a Priority
- 5 Small Business Marketing Trends for 2013
- 5 content marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2013
- Small Business Online Trends 2013
- Eight Small Business Digital Marketing Trends in 2013
- 2013 Marketing Trends: What do Small Businesses Need to Know?
- Top 3 Tech Trends Affecting Small Business in 2013
- 5 tech oriented marketing trends for 2013
- 26 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2013
- Heads Up on Top 5 2013 Business Trends
- Gartner Declares Top 10 Tech Trends for 2013
- A Look Into the Future: Planning Ahead for 2013 Trends
- Top 3 Distribution Technology Trends for 2013
- 3 Marketing Trends for 2013
- Top 5 Technology Trends for 2013
- Marketing Trends for 2013
- Online Business Trends for 2013: What You Need To Know
- Top Trends for 2013: Marketing Moves On
- 2013: The Year of Integrated Digital Marketing
- Three Trends in Content Marketing
- Is Your Business Ready for 2013? Look into the Future of Marketing to Find Out
- Digital And Media Marketing Trends For 2013
- Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013
- Five Social Media Trends for 2013
- 5 Mobile Marketing Tips and Trends for 2013
- Top Business Trends for 2013
- Small Business SEO Trends to Keep an Eye On
- Seven eCommerce and Marketing Trends To Watch For In 2013
- What’s Hot and What Could Suck About 2013 Communication Trends?
- Predicted Social Media Trends in 2013
- The Big Tech Trends of 2013
- Lucky Thirteen: Marketing Trends for 2013