Bright future ahead in 2013 for small business in the UK

The community, which provides support for homegrown startups, asked its members what they thought the New Year had in store for UK small businesses.

“Despite the doom and gloom of the recession,” said Enterprise Nation member Sheryl McFarlane of Little Acres Rural Business Solutions. “Small businesses will continue to buck the trend and do well in the New Year.”

This, said Sheryl, is due to small businesses’ unique position versus bigger brands: “We’re able to build better connections with our customers than bigger brands – and really get to grips with the concept of relationship-building leading to more sales.”

Alex Mottram of Motties Slippers echoed Sheryl’s predictions: “Small businesses are better suited to adapt to economic challenges – and move with the times. In 2013, consumers will be even more discerning about whom they hand their money over to. They’ll want to know who’s behind the product – and that’s good for small businesses.”

According to PR business Above & Beyond, UK small businesses will “expand internationally and venture into untapped markets”. Suzanne Dibble of Lawyers4Mumpreneurs offered a prediction that makes international expansion a possibility for lots of UK small businesses. “2013 will be about channelisation,” said Suzanne. “About selling products in lots of places, like iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and Facebook.”

Enterprise Nation also asked its authors for their predictions:

Jackie Wade, author of ‘Successful Selling for Small Business’, said 2013 will be a time for startups to rethink their product pitches: “As budgets become more and more squeezed, it will become more important than ever to clearly get across value and return on investment.”

Emily Coltman, author of ‘Finance for Small Business’, predicts an explosion in mobile payment solutions that will have an effect on independent retailers: “Customers will expect to be able to pay for goods and services straight away, and may go elsewhere – or just not bother! – if they cannot do so.”

Dan Wilson, author of ‘Social Media for Small Business’: “Mobile, which includes smartphones and tablets, is set to become really huge for small businesses. Whether that’s eCommerce or mobile working – will 2013 see the death of the desktop? Or even the laptop?”

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones, who this year was awarded an MBE for Services to Enterprise, predicts small business growth, but not as we know it:

“In 2013, small businesses will work hard to grow their turnover, not their headcount. They’ll focus on what they do best and outsource the rest, and so enter new markets and increase profits, without increasing overheads.

“The challenge will be in how the government measures this modern form of growth.”