7 Biggest Small-Business Trends in 2013
Additionally, starting this month, payment processors have to withhold taxes at 28% for any small business that does not have a tax identification number. This is because they can't issue 1099-Ks to people without TINs, Aldrich says.
"As we can see, the 1099-K is just as crucial in 2013 as it was in 2012. It is imperative that small-business owners keep track of it and ensure their records are in order," he says.
3. Going "glocal."
The term "glocalism" means the adaptation of a product or service to each location or culture in which it is sold. Glocalism also signifies how regional businesses can be altered by events that take place far away," according to a report by Colloquy.
"The country's sluggish economy and ongoing stagnation have slowed growth, particularly in the food-service industry, and also profitability, as customers demand more for less. It's harder to increase sales in the U.S.," says Andy Axelrod, president of Love and Quiches Desserts in Freeport, N.Y.
"The flip side is that the weaker dollar is good for exporting, which is booming. For companies such as mine that have an active exporting division, this is a continuing and growing opportunity in the face of a lackluster domestic economy," Axelrod says.
Going glocal presents challenges as well as opportunities.
Tracy Benson, CEO of On the Same Page , a consulting firm, says companies doing business globally need to invest time and energy to understand how to make their products and services relevant to their customers in specific countries.
The thinking also applies to global workforces. "Understanding local needs, customs and perceptions allows leaders to customize changes, processes and initiatives that resonate with the people carrying them out," Benson says.
4. Health = wealth
Changing demographics and rising health-care costs have created a health-and-wellness economy. What separates aging baby boomers from previous generations is that they will live for a much longer time and continue to be a viable part of the spending economy.
Companies are already nudging and rewarding employees to live healthier by implementing wellness programs.
The trend also creates opportunities to partner with retailers and brands to support healthy customer behaviors with related rewards for small businesses, a Colloquy report says.
Customer initiatives can, for example, offer access to a free tai chi class or a coupon for calcium supplements, Colloquy says.
5. Customer service gets back to the basics.
Jerry Nettuno, founder and CEO of Schedulicity, a tool that allows small businesses to offer online appointment scheduling, says "old-fashioned customer service" will once again become en vogue for small businesses that are supported by digital tools.
During the rocky economic environment of the past four years, small-business owners turned to risky, and untested, marketing methods, such as partnering with daily deal companies, in an attempt to garner new clientele," Nettuno says. "In doing so, customer service began to take a back seat to customer acquisition."