3 Small Business Trends to Watch for 2012

small business trends 2012
Small business trends
I’ve come across a very interesting article from The Huffington Post about 3 business trends revealed from several survey results, and I thought it would greatly benefit your small business entering 2012.

Without further ado, here are the 3 small business trends you should watch when devising a strategic plan for 2012:

Trend #1: Social media (really) matters!

People are now on social media more than ever. According to Nielsen’s Social media Report, Americans spend one-quarter of their overall online activities on social media and blogs. Furthermore, they spend more time on Facebook among other websites.

As almost everything can be done in Facebook – search information, find trends, look for interests, find deals and offers, play games, chats, tags, etc. It’s a go-to place for small businesses that want to focus on social media efforts in their business plan.

Watch out – your competitors have done so; if you haven’t, you need to step up you game and invest in social media presence for your small business.

Trend #2: Manage your small business online reputation well – or else…

If you haven’t concern about what people say online about your business, you need to start worry now. According to 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker, negative information about your small business found online influences 80 percent of consumers to change their mind about buying anything from you, regardless of what people recommend off line about your business.

On the flip side, 87 percent of respondents said that finding positive information online has helped them to confirm their decision to buy.

So – the survey results show you an obvious trend: Manage your online reputation well; monitor what people say online about your small business; respond accordingly; contact the opinion makers so that you can persuade them to update their followers and readers with new positive development or simply a clarification… anything, really.

Trend #3: Focus on data security and recovery, use cloud computing solutions

Data loss and other data-related disasters seem not to be on top of small business owners’ mind. According to Carbonite’s new research, the majority of small businesses are not prepared for a data disaster. 57 percent of respondents don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, although 81 percent small business owners confess that data is their most valuable asset.

With the rise of Cloud computing for business, it’s easier and more secure today to backup your small business’ crucial data… but it seems that most small business owners seem don’t really care about cloud computing and neglect the facts and evidences that it can help them to solve many problems their businesses face, including data disasters.

You might want to seriously consider adopting cloud computing for your data protection using cloud-based backup solutions.

So, there you go – 3 small business trends to watch… and act accordingly. Please share your opinions regarding the trends by commenting on this blog post.

Ivan Widjaya
Small business trends