By Kylie Jane Wakefield
In 2013, small business predictions focus on marketing, paying the bills, increasing incomes, decreasing hours, and spending time on Facebook and LinkedIn. That’s according to an infographic by MyCorporation that shares the results of the company’s survey of small businesses about the year ahead.
Among the findings: Just under a quarter of small businesses said they will be spending the majority of their budgets on marketing. A similar percentage said their focus will be on upgrading technology. The top two social media sites for small businesses are Facebook and LinkedIn, followed by Twitter, Google, and Pinterest.
Small business owners are optimistic overall: 88.8 percent believe business will grow in 2013. Last year, small business employee wages increased, while the number of hours they worked decreased. This trend is likely going to occur again.
According to the Next Web, small businesses are tapping into ready-made platforms to fulfill their marketing needs. Sites like Infusionsoft, Heyo and North Social are widely used by small businesses and helps businesses manage marketing all from one spot. In 2011, North Social, which costs as low as 99 cents a day, was bought out for over $20 million. Small businesses appear to be taking advantage of marketing and shifting their focus to the online world.
A survey of nearly 500 small businesses conducted by Vertical Response in 2012 revealed that two-thirds of small businesses are regulars on Facebook, and half are on Twitter, which differs from the infographic’s findings. Almost half of the survey takers don’t use LinkedIn, but then again, many of the respondents are “solopreneurs.”
Forbes’ Carol Tice says that only 36 percent of the polled small businesses say that use “paid analytical or scheduling tools” (i.e. HubSpot, Heyo, and North Social). She writes that small businesses are doing marketing in a vacuum and not tracking customers. “That means a lot of tweeting and posting in the dark, without a clear sense of whether the social-media activities are helping to build lead lists, bring in new clients, or close more sales. Or of which forms of social media activity are more worthwhile.”
The infographic states that along with marketing, technology spending is going to be important in 2013. More than 22 percent of those responding reported they will spend a majority of their budget on technology. A July 2012 Wells Fargo-Gallup poll revealed that over the next year, 64% of small businesses are going to spend money on new equipment and machinery, 61% will buy new computers, 56% new websites or software, and 52% mobile devices.
Since marketing is becoming so accessible and easy thanks to social media and automated tools, it’s logical that small businesses are putting more of their efforts into it. Technology is also making things easier, and becoming increasingly important for small businesses to embrace. The rise of virtual offices appears to be contributing to the decreased working time, while the upward turn in the economy is a likely cause of their optimism.
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