Saturday, January 5, 2013

Working Smarter: Small Business Forecasts for 2013

At the beginning of every year, clairvoyants, other dabblers in the supernatural and those who prefer well researched educated guesses make predictions about what lies ahead.

The predictions of those who are educated in economics, politics, business, and who usually read voraciously about trends of one type or other, are the ones I prefer. Here are some of the things they are mentioning.

Business News Daily has an article titled, Old-Fashioned Customer Service Goes Digital in 2013 that opines customer service will rebound in importance (presumably having dropped off a tad). Businesses will lean more on technology to  automate many of their functions and develop improved client/customer relationships.

In my business I have a project underway to contact veterinarians and dentists who may be interested in updating their outdated snail mail vaccination and appointment due reminders. I'm selling them GroupMail, a standalone PC-based mail management system with which they can control all their customer notifications and save thousands annually. This is automation at its best and will also help with client relationships. The Business News Daily is right.

Predictions in the car sales industry range from gloomy to optimistic ... nobody can agree if sales will be lower or higher. Toyota and Mazda (Australia) are predicting an increase in sales while Australia's major industry organisation, The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is convinced sales will fall.

Contrary to Australian predictions, The Wall Street Journal has announced that US car sales will grow this year. Motor vehicles are apparently much cheaper in the US and it's a much larger market, so it's feasible they are spot on.

Special Events experts have said:

"In the annual Special Events business forecast, just under half of respondents—49 percent—expect to stage more special events in 2013 than they did in 2012. This figure is a 2 percent improvement over last year's survey. One in three—33 percent—expect to stage the same number of events this year, compared with 32 percent last year, and a scant 7 percent say they will likely stage fewer events this year than last, down from 8 percent last year"
There are numerous other predictions around that range from doom and gloom to a bright future. These are only a quick snapshot. However, I do believe that the balance comes down in favour of a prosperous 2013 for most of us.

If you are in small business and are challenged by changing circumstances, increased competition, falling sales etc, there are things you can do. The main thing is to re-arrange your business strategies to cope with the new challenges. Don't just sit back and hope that everything will get better ... it won't, unless you make it get better.

What are your thoughts about prospects for 2013 in your industry? Show us you are alive and write a comment or two ... get involved.

Robin

PS: If you are wondering about the accompanying photo, it's a shot I took at a souk (market) at Damascus, Syria before things turned bad. It shows a micro businessman selling coffee from a backpack coffee flask.

2 comments:

  1. No sooner had I posted this than the Australian car manufacturers announced they were selling like crazy.

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