Small business owners are facing a number of new and exciting trends in 2014. While each one doesn't need to be worked into a financial plan right now, there are plenty of ways to improve a company and grow as the year progresses.
Whether the venture is brand new or has been around for a long period of time, there is always room for improvement. Thankfully, there are several unique ways to do just that, even if incorporating Bitcoins into the firm's strategy doesn't sound ideal.
So, a small business owner may want to pay attention to these four tips to capitalize on new trends and expand well into 2014:
1. Think about more than just profit
Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell's Entrepreneur-in-Residence, shared some trends that could impact small businesses in 2014 to Entrepreneur magazine. One is how the importance of profit may be shifting. Essentially, more firms are looking at this statistic in a different light, mainly because items other than money will help keep the best talent and attract customers. There could be something else that is important, like charity in the community or creating an earth-friendly product. These might be worth spending time on instead of the bottom line.
2. Big cities aren't the only place for growth
While New York City and San Francisco are traditionally big start-up locations, there are other cities in the U.S. For example, Vanderveldt explained that the middle of the country could be the perfect place to expand a business. It could be daunting to start fresh in a less popular location, but these areas often require fewer costs and provide less in the form of competition.
3. Find like-minded people
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, an entrepreneur should form an alliance in order to grow. Like-minded people and companies can become valuable assets for a number of reasons, but these types of resources should not be ignored. With a partnership in place, the organization can pool resources, share tools and provide valuable advice to one another.
4. Look for alternative sources of income
A steady stream of income can be hard to come by for a small business. However, diversifying could be the answer, the U.S. SBA noted. This means that a company can find new ways to make a profit, instead of just focusing on the original product or service. That could include teaching a class, speaking at conferences, or developing a new and unique product that complements the original.