The new calendar year is looming large. So, Dr Caroline Hong, Chief Executive Officer of the SME Association of Australia, decided it was high time to share her thinkings on upcoming trends for small to medium enterprises.
According to Dr Hong, social media will carry on challenging the way SMEs do their business. What’s more, it will become an increasingly pivotal part of Australian companies’ competitive strategy. In many instances, social media equals opportunities for an economical way of interacting with customers and self-managing business transactions.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) meets mobile technology meets social networks: social commerce enables consumers to download apps, pay with their mobile phone and check out location-based deals. Earmarked to go mainstream any day now(ish).
Tightened economic conditions in 2011 will spill over into the new year. This will see SMEs reining in spending and borrowing. Sole traders and micro-business operators may be more inclined to flee back to more ‘stable jobs’ and guaranteed incomes.
The introduction of the Carbon Tax will see an increase in green conscious businesses and customers as awareness of emissions grows. While many SMEs may not be directly impacted by the carbon tax, there could be a knock-on effect of costs from big businesses to small businesses.
Businesses will find new ways of lowering costs and attracting customers through innovative products and ideas. Pop-up shops will become more popular, creative apps will continue to grow, collective groups sharing office spare will be more common, and more businesses will take advantage of cloud computing.
The SME Association of Australia is a national not-for-profit (NFP) body representing Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), which offers group-buying facilities, professional advice, networking opportunities, e-learning support and more to small businesses. For more information or to register visit www.smeaustralia.asn.au.