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Emma Jones's 2013 Small Business Predictions

Emma Jones's 2013 Small Business Predictions

Posted: Sun 30th Dec 2012

_Enterprise Nation founder and small business expert, Emma Jones, shares her 5 predictions for UK small businesses in 2013. _ 1. Niche & Nimble Based on spotting gaps in the market or turning a passion into profit, witness the rise of the niche business. At the StartUp Saturday workshops I've delivered throughout the year, I've seen people starting up as laughter yoga teachers, artisan bakers, app developers, party planners and milliners. They were all clear on the customers to whom their product or service would appeal. Focus on a niche and it will ensure you stay nimble - as you test, innovate, and explore new ways to serve and meet your market. **2. Shop till you Pop!  ** Enter the Year of the Pop-Up! Offering a low-risk and low-cost route onto the High Street, expect to see thousands more small businesses embrace the opportunity to meet customers, make sales, and potentially be spotted by large retail buyers. PopUp Britain is opening up formerly empty shops and filling them with small businesses who crowdfund the rent and breathe life into the High Street. Also expect to see the roll-out of retail technologies to help small businesses make the most of their pop-up experience - from accepting payments, to targeted promotion of deals across town. 3. Going Global Enabled by powerful and low-cost technology, micro-multinationals will become the norm. Who needs an export department when you have online sales platforms such as Alibaba, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Elance and that place you and your business before a global audience of many? And what better way to connect with customers in new territories than via always-on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. At a time when the world is keen to buy British, 2013 will be the year that small businesses step up and venture out to meet this demand. 4. Big helping small Following the lead of major brands such as Telefonica and their WAYRA accelerator, and IKEA's launch of IKEA Business, large companies will recognise the benefits of engaging with the small businesses of Britain. Big will help small by opening up procurement, as per HP's example, and offer valuable profile, as seen in the recent Alibaba advert offering £millions in free promotion to growing businesses, Morphsuits and Gandy's Flip Flops. Encouragement should be placed on all FTSE250 companies to confirm their plans on how they intend to help as it will be small business that gets the economy back in shape! 5. Growth, but not as we know it Small business owners will work to grow turnover, not headcount. They will focus on what they do best and outsource the rest, so managing a flexible and fleet-of-foot business that's entering new markets and increasing profit, without the associated increase in overheads. One of the most critical factors of small business success is the ability to move at speed and small businesses will achieve this by employing teams of talented experts and professionals who co-work when required and otherwise keep in touch with company developments via cloud applications and agile technologies. The challenge will be in how the government and official data agencies measure this most modern form of growth. Which leads onto my final prediction, which is that Enterprise Nation will work throughout the year to ensure the views of our community are made known to policy makers, and that small businesses across the land benefit from the opportunities awaiting them in 2013. Photo credit: drinksmachine

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Since launching in 2005, the Enterprise Nation team has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder Emma Jones MBE, Enterprise Nation continues to be the most active UK small business community and a leading campaigning voice for small business. Joining Enterprise Nation connects you with resources, community and connections you need to reach your business goals.