Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: April 12

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) - What's happening in small business today?

1. Here's one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" business ideas. Ever considered running a grilled cheese truck? Entrepreneur/former restaurant worker Michael Jacober is doing it in NYC and out of a former New York Police Department van that he bought at a police auction for $6,000, according to the New York Daily News .

Food trucks are all the rage these days -- from a consumer standpoint they offer tasty meals on the cheap and it's fun to check your Twitter account to find out where your favorite truck is planting itself each day. For business owners, it leaves out much of the overhead -- and headaches -- that a restaurant usually brings.

"I wanted to take a step into something that wasn't high risk," Jacober told the Daily News . He launched Morris Grilled Cheese in January 2011 and serves up tasty treats like the $10 Croque Monsieur melt, a smoked ham, pickled spring onion with provolone grilled sandwich, according to the article.

2. Learn why you should 'Instagram' your business. As more businesses get comfortable with using social media, experts say the more visual you can make your shared content, the better.

"Few brands understand the true power of an original image that can't be found (and hasn't been seen) anywhere else online," says social media expert Rob Wormley in his March 15 blog on One Social Media . "There are so many apps that exist within the iPhone/iPad App Store and Android Market that you can be using to share unique photos for your business or brand. So why aren't you?"

He calls 2012 the year of the photo-editing/sharing mobile apps (which explains why Facebook plans to acquire Instagram for $1 billion).

The popular photo app can also be effective at adding "a little spice and professionalism to the photos you intend to share on your social media sites," Wormley says.

3. Focus your business on these three hot demographics. While services and products for aging Baby Boomers still top the charts in terms of profitable consumer trends, three other age groups are impressively gaining ground: children, 20-somethings and seniors, according to Small Business Trends .

Education is a particularly hot area. Parents are "eagerly spending" on extracurricular programs to help their kids get into the increasingly competitive college landscape and job market. Language instruction is another hot area in the kid demographic, as the workforce expands globally, learning multiple languages are becoming crucial to career success.

For 20-somethings, the article points to the exploding wedding industry. "Based on population data, America is on the verge of a wedding boom that's expected to last for the next 23 years." This boom will not only bolster existing caterers, florists, photographers, but create new opportunities, such as a whole sub-industry catering to gay marriages, Small Biz Trends says.