the most important small business trends in 2014

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The rise of mobile, the growth of local, the advent of crowdfunding–find out how 61 small business experts think the latest business trends will shape the future of small business in the next 12 months.

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  • The Most Important Small Business Trends in 2014 According to the most important small business experts Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Categories: 1. Technology 2. Marketing 3. Finance & Business Management 4. Going Local Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Technology Thursday, January 16, 14
  • The internet showed its promise in the last few years. In 2014, the divide between tech-disrupted sectors and those unaffected goes away. aaron levie, founder & ceo, box Thursday, January 16, 14
  • The small business digital divide widens. A growing body of research is showing a performance gap between small businesses that successfully use technology and that dont. small business labs Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Smartphone and tablet usage of web-based browser and native apps surpasses that via computer browser. rex hammock, founder, smallbusiness.com Thursday, January 16, 14
  • This is the year that cross-platform development for the major modern platforms will become increasingly challenging and products will need to be developed with this in mind. It will become increasingly unwieldy to develop for both iOS and Android and natively integrate effectively and competitively with the platform. steven sinofsky, board partner, andreessen horowitz Thursday, January 16, 14
  • With the resources available for sharing exceeding those available in traditional ways, 2014 will be the year in which sharing becomes normal and preferred for assets that are infrequently used and/or expensive. steven sinofsky, board partner, andreessen horowitz Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Many small businesses are set to embrace cloud storage in general. gytis barzdukis, senior director, product management, vmware Thursday, January 16, 14
  • As the web becomes more crowded, small businesses looking to build and maintain relationships with customers will need mobile apps. Creating mobile apps and most importantly consistently updating them with new content using tools like mobile app content managers are how small businesses will evolve in 2014. patrick chukwura, co-founder, joppar Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Mobile Based Retail Purchasing. 2013 Black Friday was Mobile Friday with almost 40% of all online shopping done on mobile devices. This trend will continue in 2014 as more consumers are empowered to use their phones and tablets to shop anytime, anywhere. Seamless browsing, saving, and shopping across platforms will be crucial for any business that wants to grow in 2014. billy bauer, marketing director, royce leather Thursday, January 16, 14
  • At the beginning of 2013, people said mobile phone use would surpass desktop use by 2015. Well, it's already happened. Many websites now report mobile traffic as high as 66% of their overall traffic. People who think it's time to get ready for mobile have already been left behind! The small businesses that will see the highest gains in 2014 will be those with a mobile website or a responsive design website. From there, the most successful small businesses will branch out to mobile advertising and more. collin jarman, seo technician, click optimize Thursday, January 16, 14
  • The ability to gather data continues to be revolutionized, especially for small businesses who might not have been able to afford the tools and technology to gather and analyze data a few years ago. This will give small businesses the ability to move away from 'gut feelings' about what's right and move to measurements, KPIs and quantifiable data so everyone is working with one version of the truth. Either through capturing and reviewing their own data or purchasing data resources from cloud-based providers like eVestment, at no other time in history has so much information been available so readily, so quickly and so affordably. jim minnick, ceo, evestment.com Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Less than 5% of business websites are mobile-optimized. Ignoring mobile marketing is simply no longer an option for any business. 94% of smartphone owners are looking for local information on their mobile devices, and 70% of these searchers have gone to a local business after a search. For a small business, this is a golden opportunity. zach cusimano, coo, bizness apps Thursday, January 16, 14
  • The convergence of mobile, cloud, data & analytics. Theyre also leading to new forms of technology-based competition as more small firms use capabilities developed through the convergence of these technologies to outmaneuver competitors. small business labs Thursday, January 16, 14
  • As businesses grow and demand for their products increases, technology like Lettuce will assist business owners in consolidating their back-end operations, allowing for more time to be spent on sales and growth rather than inventory management. The fast pace of the current marketplace will push more business owners to utilize available technology to make their business operations more efficient and lean. raad mobrem, ceo & founder, lettuce Thursday, January 16, 14
  • One of the top trends for 2014 is the widespread use of analytics, allowing SMBs to make data-driven decisions. I think as analytics become more and more accessible to the layman, more SMBs will use them to tie online and offline activities together. andre pinantoan, marketing, getpocketbook.com Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Small businesses will ditch traditional credit card terminals and POS Systems at an ever increasing pace in 2014. In exchange, they will swap out for tablet-based systems that offer ease-of-use, better reporting, loyalty tracking, minimal fees, cloud storage, and no contracts. phillip parker, ceo, cardpaymentoptions.com Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Marketing Thursday, January 16, 14
  • I think were going to see fairly intense consolidation [in the local marketing space]. As the products become more complex, companies will need an in-house sales force to gain traction, which will make it increasingly difficult for new entrants to pop up. Working off that, were going to see even more deal sites close, and a couple of leaders emerge from the pact weve obviously seen that start to happen. In addition to the deals space, consolidation will also start occurring around local marketing agency companies as well. The successful companies will be the ones that choose to focus on one thing, rather than the all-in-one approach. howard lerman, ceo, yext Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Decrease in success of Facebook advertising. People are connecting and sharing more than ever. On a given day, when someone visits News Feed, there are an average of 1,5001 possible stories we can show. As a result, competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and were seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality. richard sim, performance product marketing manager, facebook Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Local small business advertising dollars flow to Twitter, Foursquare, and as always, Google. rex hammock, founder, smallbusiness.com Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Mobile growth pushes Facebook to become number 2 US digital ad seller behind Google, with increased emphasis on Instagram as ad channel. emarketer Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Increase in mobile market for local ads. Mobility and the near-ubiquity of smart phones amongst users with disposable income focuses great entrepreneurs on this massive market. jonathan ebinger, general partner, bluerun ventures Thursday, January 16, 14
  • The average digital media usage among U.S. consumers is estimated at nearly 15 hours per week, according to researcher PQ Media. So even those small businesses that have been social media hold-outs will be jumping on the bandwagon in 2014 to engage their customers. susan solovic, ceo, susan solovic media group Thursday, January 16, 14
  • A study by Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and M/A/R/C Research found 84% of smartphone shoppers use their phones while in a physical store. [For small businesses] that have not already given serious consideration to a mobile device as a means by which consumers are shopping, the time has come. christopher mccarthy, managing director, addison richmond consulting Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Small businesses with local customers will automate marketing operations. Traditionally, marketing automation technology was only available to larger corporations with the budget, staff and resources to manage it. Increasingly, businesses with local customers are choosing cloud-based marketing automation technologies that empower them to shift away from traditional advertising and toward digital marketing and maximize new and repeat sales. stuart wall, ceo & co-founder, signpost Thursday, January 16, 14
  • [Content Marketers] will have to pay [readers] at much higher rates just to keep the same number of readers in 2014 that [they] had in 2013. The global warming of content marketing is in view. mark schaefer, marketing consultant, college educator, author Thursday, January 16, 14
  • Reinvigorated feminism is another issue facing marketers. In a recent poll by The Economist, 42% of all millennials said they consider themselves "feminists," compared to just 32% of Generation X. jeff fromm, author: marketing to millennials Thursday, January 16, 14
  • People are becoming more aware of the data being collected about them online. And that's eroding the trust they have with collecting companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. tim peterson, digital tech reporter, adage Thursday, January 16, 14

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