Five Business Trends for 2012

Many small business owners were happy to say goodbye to 2011. Unpredictable economic markets, housing crises and decreased consumer spending left a bad taste in every entrepreneur’s mouth. The promise of a new year always brings hope and expectation, but also anxiety-riddled uncertainty since no one really knows if 2012 will be a better year for businesses.

The best action forward is always to be prepared. Below are five trends that have been predicted for small business owners in 2012. Preparing yourself and your business to accommodate these trends will mean that these setbacks won’t take you by surprise, and will give you the necessary tools to overcome them.

Five trends to watch for:

  • A slump in sales during winter – this is always a recurring trend. 40% of consumers claim they overspent in December. Not surprising. Expect low profits through February as consumers try to make up for the deficits of the holidays. Maybe take the time to brainstorm and come up with unusual ways to increase your sales.
  • Shifting markets – the small business market will fluctuate and move in unpredictable patterns. You can remain stable through networking. Stay plugged into your community and listen to their changing interests in order to continue thriving.
  • An increase in prices – the top consumer items predicted to rise include: airfare, digital cameras, computers and groceries.
  • Mergers – last year, the US mergers and acquisitions mark hit $821 billion, which is the highest it’s been since 2007. This could be your year to grow through acquisition too, or perhaps even sell.
  • Election year will cause instability – an election year tends to cause anything happening on Capitol Hill to stall. Politicians looking to maintain high approval ratings could mean slower movement for any decisions relating to small business or government contractor laws. Expect to spend a lot of time waiting.

What trends do you foresee taking place in 2012? Share your comments below!