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Top 5 Small Business Trends of 2013

August 16, 2013 | Written by Austin Yuen

5  small business trends 20131. Go mobile. Undoubtedly, smartphones are revolutionizing the way people make purchases, look for businesses, seek and consume information, connect with brands, hold meetings and much more. Now with over a billion smartphones buzzing 24/7, it’s important that all businesses (not just the big guys) adopt a mobile strategy. A simple tip is to make sure that your website and email communications are optimized for mobile devices (smartphone and tablets). You should be able to not only easily search and pull up your website but the buttons should be large enough and text easy to read on the smaller screens. (Take your mobile strategy to the next level with BizX members, Labs8, iLocal and Apex Datacom).

2. Leverage social media. For many small businesses, the question is not whether to use social media but rather which social media platforms make the most sense for the particular business and industry. Whether it means using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or perhaps LinkedIn and YouTube, the most important decision revolves around choosing the appropriate social media platform for a particular audience. If you still require further convincing to incorporate social media into your sales and marketing strategy, you may find some comfort in the article “5 Ways Social Media Helps Small Businesses Grow.” (Get a jump start on your media strategy with BizX members: Super Charge Marketing, Third Place - Social Media for Restaurants, Interpolnik, and Creative Media Alliance).

4. Think local, act global. Whether you are a neighborhood restaurant or an online retailer, small businesses are the heart of innovation and employment in the US. If expanding into new markets locally or internationally, you should ensure that localization is a key component of your marketing strategy. According to a study by the CMO Council, there are two key requirements for effective content localization, including: 1. Know what messages are relevant and appealing to the local target audience and 2. Have the right technology tools that allow marketers to maintain control of brand while giving them the flexibility needed to customize the message and scale cost-effectively.

5. Leverage cloud technologies. Access to cloud-based computing allows small businesses to scale quickly and increase employees’ productivity without breaking the bank. Because it allows small businesses to act fast and run lean, cloud computing gives small business owners a leg up against their larger competitors. In fact, it’s estimated that small business owners who use cloud technologies spend on average 20% less on technology than their peers. Cloud-based computing gives small business owners the option to share files and applications over the internet, freeing them from a fixed workstation environment. Some of the more popular data sharing/processing/sharing services include: Dropbox, Salesforce and Evernote.

3. Incorporate new payment methods. Paypal, GoPayment and Square are just a few of the more popular alternative payment systems widely adopted by many small businesses. Other payment options are digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, Feathercoin or BizX dollars, which give business owners an opportunity to use that currency in lieu of dollars to buy and sell goods and services. BizX is an attractive currency for small business owners to maximize business potential (fill hotel rooms, fill restaurant seats, fill appointments, sell excess inventory) because it offers its members a safe and easy way to trade with other BizX community members to increase sales, attract new customers and grow their businesses. If you don’t already have a BizX account, you should get started today.


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