Study identifies top small business trends for 2012

Posted: 12/8/2011
By: Katie Kylen
The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute recently identified six small business trends likely to be faced by entrepreneurs next year. These included economic volatility, tight availability of capital, threats of closure amid decreased revenues, trade-offs and deal-making, customer poaching from large companies and pessimistic campaign rhetoric related to the sector.

Almost half of the nearly 1,100 small business owners surveyed said the economy is a barrier to growing their companies and 14 percent said they would have to close if revenues fell significantly over the next one to two years.

With regard to the threat of large companies poaching small business customers, The Institute recommends entrepreneurs play up their strengths as part of their business marketing efforts.

"Small business owners should seek ways to demonstrate how their company is more responsive to customers or able to provide more customized, localized or cost-efficient service," The Institute advises.

A recent Zoomerang survey found that many entrepreneurs are expanding their business advertising to social media tools. However, most don't understand the value of the channel. 

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