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Small Business Entrepreneur Trend

Trend watching has emerged in big business as a discipline of business management and a popular topic among top media publications and futurists. Small business can benefit from trend watching also.
People think that marketing trends would be closely aligned with consumer trends, since effective marketing depends on getting your messages to appear where the highest concentration of qualified eyeballs is focused. That is not always the case, because trend-focused marketers tend to place an inflated value on revolutionary technology and early adoption.

Social Trends

The new local movement:
New localism is a long-term trend whose impact has been accelerated by the recession.  Small businesses tap into and benefit from this trend several ways.  Small businesses allow greater community focus for the owner and employees, and they benefit from market opportunities created by locally-oriented customers.  

Clean and green creating small business opportunities:
Despite the current climate controversy, the trends towards sustainability, clean technology and green energy continue to gain strength with consumers and businesses.  In many cases the shift to sustainable business practices, products and services is changing how industries operate and creating a wide range of new small business opportunities.

There is no place like home for small business:
Fueled by technology and enabled by low costs, 2010 will see the continued growth of home-based businesses.  According to the SBA half of all small business is home-based. Research shows that about 6.6 million home-based enterprises provide at least half of their owners' household income, and together employ more than one in 10 private sector workers.  

Economic Trends  

Personal businesses on the rise: Enabled by the internet and low-cost information technology, the number of personal businesses has grown twice as fast as the overall economy over the last decade and exceeds 22 million. Growth in personal businesses will also result in an increase in overall small business formation and numbers in 2010.

The shift to contingent workers turns employees into entrepreneurs: Employers large and small are shifting from full-time employees to part-timers, freelancers, outsourced services, partnership arrangements and other forms of contingent workers. Many of these contingent workers will create or work for small businesses. They are doing this to save money and increase business flexibility.  

Technology Trends

Location technology and services: With the near ubiquity of GPS systems in smart phones and cars, consumer and business use of location aware applications will grow dramatically in 2010.  The use of location-based marketing services will grow as location data makes the shift from offline to online marketing even more powerful and attractive. Location information on businesses and consumers will become common and merge with online reviews and ratings.  

Social, mobile and cloud computing converge: Mobile and social computing entered the mainstream in 2009, and cloud computing will join them in 2010.  Individually, each of these technologies has a major impact on small business.  But the increasing convergence of these technologies is amplifying their impact and fundamentally changing how business is done.

Online training brings professional education to small business: Low-cost yet highly professional online training courses and programs provide small business with the ability to improve productivity and employee engagement.  Often utilizing digital video and delivered just-in-time, online training provides small business with the ability to adapt and adjust to changing business conditions.   

Analytical tools lead to data-driven decisions: Sophisticated yet easy-to-use tools are allowing small businesses to move to evidence-based management.  Online marketing and customer relationship management systems in particular allow small businesses to develop data-driven marketing and support programs that even recently were available only to large corporations.

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