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 Odesk.com 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.