Business centers tend to thrive during a recession, and that’s good news given the uncertain economy that lies ahead in 2013. Indeed, the year ahead will test small business owners in all industries. At the same time, taxes are likely to go up for the most wealthy and lower capital gains tax and home mortgage deductions may soon go by the wayside. Then there are the impending business impacts of Obamacare.
With all of this as a backdrop, what small business trends will emerge in 2013 and how will that impact business centers? Barry Moltz, a small business consultant, recently offered some small business trend predictions for 2013 on the American Express Open Forum. We’ll review those trends and offer insight into how that may impact business centers.
1. Micro startups are everywhere. With unemployment still high, Moltz says many people are forced into business for themselves. That’s good for business centers, especially ones that offer virtual office space, coworking office space and meeting rooms. Micro startups don’t want to get locked into long-term traditional office lease agreements but can tap into many of the same benefits with business centers.
2. The remote workforce goes mainstream. Moltz says one of the biggest issues for companies is locating the exact skills they needed in their geographic area. Now through Internet collaborations, he continues, companies can hire people almost anywhere in the world to get the exact skill required.
The remote workforce going mainstream is also a boon for business centers, again, especially the ones who offer virtual offices, coworking office space and meeting room rentals. Remote workers often work from home but sometimes feel isolated and want to stimulate their creativity by locating in a coworking environment. Remote workers also sometimes need to have a meeting in a professional setting.
3. Alternate financing increases. Moltz says there has been very little increase in bank financing of small business in the past year. Again, this is good for business centers because executive office suites providers offer flexible lease terms and lower costs, opening the door to small business owners.
4. The role of the distributor is shrinking. Moltz says the Internet has drastically changed the supply chain for many businesses. That, he says, means small-business owners need to find new ways to add “value” in every supply chain. By tapping into virtual office space rather than traditional office space, small business owners can cut real estate and operational costs and charge lower prices. Once again, advantage business centers.
5. Every employee and consumer has his or her own device. This is widely known as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Companies no longer have to supply employees with phones and computers. Although Moltz says this brings risks for companies that need to make sure all devices talk to their business applications, it offers an advantage to business centers. With the rise of the mobile workforce, business centers serve as a home base for on-the-go business travelers and local mobile workers alike.
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All in all, business centers will face many of the same concerns as other companies in 2013. Plenty of uncertainty remains. But if Moltz’s small business trend predictions pan out, business centers who cater to the specific needs of small business owners – and entrepreneurs, remote employees and mobile workers – should see plenty of opportunity in 2013.Share this article