Small Business Trends to Watch for in 2014

A new infographic was recently released looking at some of the top business trends for 2014 in the areas of technology, business, and payments. The most prominent trend expected in the coming year is the projected rate for adopting new technologies, particularly for smaller businesses. This is expected to entail a transition to a variety of business tools, including the implementation of automated online tools, online storage centers (the cloud), and new mobile technologies. Here’s a look at some of the top business trends to watch for in 2014.

Technology Trends

  • Experts agree that new technologies are changing the way that small businesses operate. A big trend here is in the area of mobile technology. While 30 percent of all web traffic currently comes from mobile, this is expected to increase in the coming year as more and more consumers turn to mobile tools to meet a variety of needs.
  • Given the trend toward all things mobile, it’s not surprising that among small businesses mobile ads grew 145 percent in 2013. Experts are predicting similar growth for the coming year.
  • 3D printing is likewise expected to take off in the coming year, with 70 percent growth expected for 2014. After that, its growth is projected to explode, with 200 percent growth predicted for 2015.
  • In 2014, wearable technologies are expected to surpass $1 billion. This is up significantly from $43 million in 2009.

Small Business Trends

  • One of the greatest projected trends for the coming year involves the shift to digital technologies, particularly the website. While only an estimated 40 percent of small businesses currently have websites, experts are expecting this number to double in 2014.
  • In addition, older technologies will be increasingly replaced with new ones. In fact, 80 percent of small business owners surveyed plan on upgrading their technology this year.
  • Experts are also predicting increases in hiring, with a quarter of small businesses already reporting that they are currently hiring. In addition, it’s projected that service providers will be the fastest growing small business sector for 2014.

Payment Trends

  • Customers still continue to be attached to their credit cards, with only 11 percent of consumers reporting paying with a mobile wallet. Online billing is a bit more popular, with 26 percent of customers reporting that they choose to pay their bills online.
  • While new payment technologies are expected this coming year, NFC payments aren’t one of them. In fact, NFC payment forecasts have been reduced by 40 percent for the coming years, as customers haven’t taken to the new technology.
  • Paper checks and auto-debit ACH payments continue to be popular with customers, with 42 percent of customers relying on these forms of payment.

Reference:

Vogels, Mat. “The Business Trends of 2014.” PaySimple Blog. 2/6/14.

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