Trends In 2013: Business

New small business is growing and has contributed to 12 percent of the new employment opportunities in the U.S., according to a Kauffman Foundation report. The entrepreneurial mindset has become an important factor in business and may be a solution for big businesses wanting to reinvent themselves. Think more like a small business to get your business back onto a growth track:

Made at Home

While large corporations have looked to foreign facilities to manufacture products at a lower costs, primarily due to lower labor rates, some small businesses have looked at the overall costs. The conclusion, says a Fox Business News report, is the long-term costs can be more, especially if your sales drop due to where a product is manufactured. Small businesses are introducing products “Made in the USA” and have found a lucrative niche, writes NuWire Investor.

For some people, the “Made in the USA” tag is an incentive to buy. Organizations such as the Urban Manufacturing Alliance promote local product manufacturing by entrepreneurs. Your local government may offer incentives for business to use local resources for their manufacturing efforts.

Flexible Work Force

Small businesses are pioneers in using virtual offices, flexible work times and allowing employees to use their own technology at work. The use of smartphones and tablets allow staff to work anywhere. Being able to use their own mobile devices means an employee can be more productive with tools with which they are familiar. Using Blackberry and BYOD (bring your own device) as a business model along with a mobile device manager (MDM) means you can support any device an employee may use and still keep the company’s data secure.

Cloud storage and services means staff have access to the company information they need from anywhere and any time. This means you have a workforce that can work anywhere, any time, without being constrained by cubicles in an expensive office space. This flexible work environment also creates higher morale within the staff.

Brand a Positive Image

Creating a brand once meant hiring a large public relations firm to design effective marketing campaigns and generate positive press about your business. Small business and entrepreneurs are using social networking for the same purpose.

While business is still deciding how best to use the social media, says USA Today, there is little doubt it is a way to create discussions about a business and/or its products and services. A big challenge is that social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, work at the speed of light, making information available around the world in seconds. That’s good when the news is good but very bad when it’s not.

The company Tesco was recently investigated for selling beef patties containing horse meat. Their customer service team ended one day by tweeting they were all off to “hit the hay!” The not-so-amused public responded quickly with their own tweets throughout their network.

Being Mobile

Small business has learned that being ready for the mobile revolution is key to their success. More people own mobile devices and are using them for research and shopping. If your Web site is not mobile-friendly, then you’ll lose out. Google reports 75 percent of the people that visit a mobile-friendly site will return. Almost 79 percent will leave a site that is not easy to use and they will not return.