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Top Six Small Business Trends of 2010

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Shashi Bellamkonda. A prolific Twitterer, blogger, and product innovator, Shashi speaks seven languages and ardently works to turn his hobbies into his profession. He blogs at: blog.networksolutions.com and shashi.name. You can follow him on Twitter at: @shashib.

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Image thanks to kevinzhengli via Flickr

At this time of the year there is a flurry of activity among the media both traditional and new to retrospectively look at 2009 and also at trends for 2010. Small Biz Trends, an online small business resource, has some interesting 2010 Small Business Trends articles written by small  business experts like Barry Moltz ( I met him first here ),  Joel Libava,  Barbara Weltman,  Adam Jusko,  Dan Schawbel and Steve King. All of these articles are a must read and here is a list of the articles with one highlight that I chose, you should head there and read all of them.

  • Top 10 Trends in Accounting and Taxes in 2010 – More E-filing : Last income tax filing season, the number of returns filed electronically reached an all-time high. According to the IRS, 67.18% of individuals filed (or had their returns filed through paid preparers) electronically. About 34% of these filed returns from home computers.
  • The Top Franchise Trends For 2010 – Social media marketing techniques will be used by more franchisors in 2010, than in 2008 and 2009, combined. Franchise company executives are starting to realize that today’s consumer doesn’t want to be “sold” anymore.
  • Trends in Business Credit Cards for 2010 – More Cards Issued Via “Bank-Based Relationships.” While it’s still possible to go to a big bank’s Web site and be approved for a new business credit card, there is a definite trend toward banks giving more love to those who already have a banking relationship with them. So, if you are looking for a business credit card, start with the bank where you do your checking. If that bank doesn’t offer credit cards, consider switching to a bank that does. By giving a card-issuing bank some of your money to hold, you increase the chances that they’ll (temporarily) give you some of theirs.
  • Top 10 Homepreneur Trends for 2010 – More than half of all U.S. businesses are home-based. These firms are often dismissed as hobbies or part-time ventures with limited economic impact. But our research shows otherwise. We estimate that about 6.6 million home-based enterprises provide at least half of their owners’ household income and together employ more than one in 10 private-sector workers. The rise of the homepreneur is a long-term trend that will continue to accelerate over the next decade. Fueled by technology and enabled by low costs, businesses of all kinds are finding there is no place like home.
  • The 10 Customer Service Trends for 2010Tell the World. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube allow me to tell not seven people but 10,000 my pleasure or dissatisfaction with a company immediately after I interact with them. No more secrets here! Every satisfied customer is now a booster for your company and every dissatisfied customer potentially can hurt your business. Now, there is more of an incentive for every company to get it right for their customer. This year, no bad deed will go unpublished by a dissatisfied customer.
  • Personal Branding Trends For 2010Reputation management. Over the past few years, it’s been a best practice to review online brand mentions using a variety of tools, such as Google.com/alertssearch.twitter.com and backtype.com.  With more and more consumers making decisions based on what they find online, small business owners are going to have to set time aside every single day (not every week or month) to review comments said about their brands.  According to a survey by the Opinion Research Corporation, 84% of Americans say online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.  In 2010, reviewing comments isn’t going to be good enough.  Brands will be forced to react to brand mentions in order to prevent negative word of mouth.  There will be victims and there will be winners next year.  Those that invest more time protecting their online identities will succeed.

Have you come across other interesting small business trends? If so, what is your forecast for small business trends for 2010?

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About the Author

This guest post is by Shashi Bellamkonda, vice president of digital marketing at Bozzuto.com, a company that aspires to be the Best Real Estate Company in America — the community calls him Social Media Swami. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University..

Shashi is passionate about helping startups and small business and has been recognized twice as one of the Top 100 Tech Titans by the Washingtonian and Top 100 Small Business Influencer Champion 2011 by Small Business Trends. Follow him on Twitter @shashib.

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