How Small Business Owners Can Stay Positive for 2013.
Unless you have avoided any kind of national or international press recently you will feel, as many of us do that the economy is in an unhealthy state and doesn’t look like improving soon. With so much doom and gloom surrounding investors and small businesses in the national media recently, we wanted to pick away at the statistics and try to uncover any positive signs which may be emerging for 2013.
The situation in the Eurozone, with the euro destabilising almost on a daily business, has been in a precarious situation for years. With further rioting in Cyprus, and even a complete embargo on people leaving the country with ‘suitcases’ of cash, one fears for the Eurozone for 2013. Many business leaders can be forgiven for predicting a flat economy to emerge. But many still stay optimistic none the less – a recent poll suggested that 14% remain optimistic that growth will emerge, 51% expect it to stay the same and 35% are preparing for a further recession.
For small business owners the presence of economic uncertainty is nothing new – but with the situation in the Eurozone impacting globally the cause for concern is very much still present.
Positive Economic Trends for 2013
We run through what must be earmarked as positive signs to come for 2013 and outline key patterns and relationships which may emerge:
The redistribution in economic power and emerging markets
Okay so this is not a new trend – certainly not to 2013 – but does offer a glimmer of hope for small business owners who are willing to branch out to different markets. The good news is social and economic power in the US and Far East is set to gather pace during 2013. The key to this is to watch for a shifting of power from central governments and banks to communities, SME’s, multinationals and private businesses. The increased disillusionment with the banking system and governments will lend itself to increased alternative methods for borrowing and lending money and capital.
The changing ways in which we do business
As ethical practices and customer retention becoming increasingly important, the customer management cycle, we will see an increased importance put on ethical and developmental trading. Small-businesses are concentrating on improving their brand strength and influence – and this will only lead to improved trading standards implemented. This focus on individuals may also present opportunities to tailor – through technology – to individual needs and so improve the customer journey.
Goodbye Outsourcing, Hello Insourcing
Recent figures over the past two years show that many companies are in a mini-boom insourcing boom, with many choosing to move operations back home due to rising wages in formerly low-cost regions – especially China. While many small business owners still feel the need to reduce costs by outsourcing, the truth that many large scale companies – like General Motors and Apple, to name two – are bringing operations back home due to rising wages in the East and also higher energy prices, transportation and manufacturing costs. What is also apparent is the political pressure put on governments to create jobs at home, and the incentives for companies who decide to insource will continue to increase positively.
So while there is plenty reasons to remain gloomy in regards to economic growth, profits, new business etc, the points outlined may give scope for a decidedly rosier outlook. While not everyone will benefit and many may become further marginalised due to unexpected trickle-down effects, the truth is that for those that realise that these points offer an opportunity to be better placed to respond to it. For small business owners the decision is now whether you want to continue down a once perfect model of outsourcing all work to cheaper labour or bring your operations in-house in order to drive down total cost, time-to-market, quality and other advertising and marketing factors. What’s clear is that 2013 represents a year in which holistic steps can be taken to better position yourself and for the long run.