17 Top Small Business News Stories of 2013

A lot happened during 2013 that has effects on small businesses.  Let’s look at the end small business news stories for 2013, as tracked by the Small Business Trends Editorial team:

Wearable Technology Gets Attention

Wearable technology ranges from Google Glass  (the eyeglasses-like computer you wear for your head – image above) to the smartwatch.  Pebble raised a funky $10 million on Kickstarter and commenced shipping its smartwatch .  Not to be outdone,  Samsung unveiled the Gear  smartwatch as a companion to the Note 3 phone.   And 2013 saw the concept that of the Smarty Ring , which  raised almost $300,000 on IndiegoGo .

Maybe in the future Google Glass might be perched on every head, but that day may be some time coming, if it ever arrives.   Section of the reason being due to privacy concerns people have about being filmed without their realizing it.  Already there are businesses where Google Glass isn’t welcome .

Accounting Software Market Changes

Competitors from offshore and with cloud products, challenge the large players during this market. And we’re seeing the market stratify, with accounting and fiscal products designed for numerous sizes of small businesses:

  • Xero, out of latest Zealand and Australia, still has a small footprint within the Country, but raised  $150 million in funding in October, to move after the U.S. market .
  • Entrepreneurs and micro businesses are catching on that they don’t necessarily need double-entry accounting software. Freshbooks, out of Canada, is mainly an invoicing and expense tracking software , but calls itself “cloud accounting” now, and has 5 million people using it.  And there are dozens of different invoicing apps that once paired up with downloaded bank and bank card records, provide sufficient recordkeeping to satisfy the purposes of very small businesses.
  • Sage went the alternative direction. It continued developing and adding features to its Sage One product — combining accounting, invoicing, time tracking, productivity and collaboration features into an all-in-one suite for businesses with under 10 employees.
  • Intuit, the most important player within the U.S. with millions of small businesses using it, went off on yet a distinct direction, by announcing plans to acquire document aggregator DocStoc .
  • GoDaddy  acquired the Ronin invoicing app , pairing it with previously acquired Outright, to create the GoDaddy Bookkeeping software.

Facebook starred reviews

Online Business Reviews Provoke Frustration, Legal Action

Online reviews and native listings that display them remain a sore point.  Some of the sites where reviews appear have stumble upon as cavalier and uncaring toward small businesses through poorly implemented review systems and uneven efforts to address rampant fake reviews:

Twitter Goes Public; Makes a speciality of Revenue and Spam

  • The company went public in November, trading at the NASDAQ under the emblem TWTR.  The stock has gone up and down earlier two months, but currently is up over 40% and the corporate has a market cap of $35 billion.  That’s greater than 16 times the scale of the recent York Times’ market cap of $2.3 billion.
  • In anticipation of its IPO, Twitter continued 6 rolling out advertising 6 products and 7 improved its business resources 7 .  It announced plans to 8 acquire MoPub 8 , a mobile ad platform.  We expect the focal point on advertising and sponsored offerings to just increase, given the necessity to meet quarterly earnings expectations.
  • Perhaps anticipating closer scrutiny, Twitter changed its spam algorithms, 9 cracking down on DM spammers 9  and 0 other abusers 0 .  We saw a spate of legitimate small business users having their 1 Twitter accounts banned in error 1  – apparently it’s now trickier to follow lots of accounts without tripping a spam filter.

Matt Cutts Google spam team

Scrutiny Increases on Content Marketing

Content marketing continued to grow in 2013.  We published 2 not one 2 , but 3 two lists of content marketing books 3 during 2013, in order that must inform you how much interest there’s.  Native advertising also grew — native advertising is available in many forms, but newspapers have long published a kind called advertorials.

Guest blogging and advertorials became so popular that they were over-used and abused by some.  It looked like an endemic of  4 plagiarism and “spun” articles 4 .  Fake writers and rings of “made-for-links” sites proliferated.  What was the goal?  Build links.

In May of 2013 Google’s head of Web spam, Matt Cutts (pictured above), 5 spoke out and explained how advertorials must be handled 5 under Google’s guidelines.   Then later Cutts cautioned  6 against “low quality” guest blogging 6 .  The U. S. Federal Trade Commission also updated its advertising guidelines 7 to deal with disclosures needed in social media 7 .

There will always be value in top of the range content in marketing.  But 2013 was the year that saw abuses of content explode, and a resulting crackdown start.

Counterfeits and Mass-Produced Goods Irk Entrepreneur Artisans

Etsy was originally install as a market for handmade items — and supposedly a refuge from mass-produced stuff.  But shop owners, who number nearly a million on Etsy and are mostly entrepreneur-artisans and small businesses, have been  8 vocal about mass produced goods 8  being allowed.  Even  9 Etsy’s “be honest” rule 9  is not enough, some say.

Some hand-crafted items from Etsy are also copied. Fakes turn out on wholesale sites resembling Alibaba.  0 Alibaba announced an anti-counterfeiting campaign 0  in advance of its  1 rumored 2014 IPO 1 .  While counterfeiting is frequently considered a “big brand” sort of plague, it also affects small businesses like artisans.

Self employed and Obamacare

Obamacare Confusion Reigns

The year 2013 have been one in all confusion.  With many media reports being politically motivated either left or right, millions of small businesses had a tricky time getting good details about healthcare options. Listed here are some key facts:

2 The words of Professor Scott Shane tackle added meaning 2 : “Despite (or due to) our policy makers’ efforts, employee medical insurance remains a burden for small business owners. ***  Only time will tell whether our policy makers’ efforts to assist have alleviated or exacerbated the issues.”

Social Media & Mobile Valuations Hit Records

Are we living through another tech bubble, just like the Dot Com bubble of 2000?  Judging from probably the most valuations, possibly.

Remember Instagram, the corporate without a revenue that was worth $1 billion back in 2012 when Facebook acquired it?  The year 2013 saw a redux of varieties, when Snapchat’s 23-year-old founder 3 turned down a suggestion of $3 billion 3 from Facebook.  Meanwhile, at the very least 4 16 million small businesses had Facebook pages 4 , and Facebook was placed 5 at the S&P 500 5 .  Despite all that success, a report by Oklahoma Senator Coburn suggests 6 Facebook will for the second one year in a row pay zero taxes 6 .

Yahoo, seeking to reinvent itself, 7 acquired Tumblr 7 , a blog platform known for its porn, for $1 billion.  Shortly thereafter, Tumblr 8 jumped at the sponsored posts bandwagon 8 . And Yahoo is currently a Wall Street darling, with its stock price at a five-year high.

If you need to create a high-valuation startup, mobile and social are hot spaces to be.  At least for now.

new dell venue tablets

Traditional Tech Companies Retrench, Reinvent

Remember those traditional technology companies such a lot of people run our businesses on?  Here’s what happened with some of them:

  • Dell went private again after a battle by Michael Dell to retain ownership of the corporate he founded in his dorm room in 1984.  Dell expanded its traditional laptop and desktop computers to incorporate tablets and 9 tablet hybrids 9 . That is aggressively investing in innovative startups, acquiring other companies, and getting into partnerships to reinvent itself right into a 0 combined hardware, cloud software and services company 0 .
  • Microsoft announced the retirement of CEO Steve Ballmer because it began its own reinvention with strong moves toward mobile.  Along with aggressive marketing campaigns for its Windows Surface and RT tablets, 1 Microsoft made a bid to obtain Nokia 1 to achieve a larger footprint within the mobile space.
  • BlackBerry – well, pundits has been predicting its demise for the past two years.  After the disappointing launch of BlackBerry 10, the corporate changed CEOs in November.  For awhile it planned to head private, then scrapped that.  Right now the focal point looks on serving businesses in regulated industries and government.

Netting it out: the changes at Microsoft and Dell are excellent news for small businesses. BlackBerry is becoming less of a player within the small business market with each passing month.

Phones Get Bigger, Tablets Smaller, Voice Minutes Go Away

  • 2 Mobile devices become big then get cheaper 2 . We saw a whole lot of data in regards to the increased approval for mobile devices with consumers this year. And manufacturers responded with more phones and tablets. There have been also hybrids just like the phablet. After which the devices started getting cheaper too.
  • 3 The responsive Website design approach 3  gained steam.  Instead of constructing a separate .mobi site, today a responsive design could make sure all visitors experience your site within the absolute best way – whether or not they are using a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • 4 Voice minutes have become almost something of the past 4  in the usa. The reason is that mobile carriers have realized charging for data transfer is the more lucrative approach. Carriers are starting to do 5 away with hardware subsidies 5 , too.
  • Apple, meanwhile, announced that its app store had 6 generated $10 billion in revenue 6 for the third-party developers. The demand for mobile apps on other sites like Google Play is also strong.

Grumpy cat meme

Grumpy Cat and Gangnam Style Memes Cool Off

Two of the most popular viral memes  in recent memory 7 became big news this year 7 and later faded. Though the  8 Gangnam Style video was posted in 2012 8 , by 2013 it had became the foremost watched online video in history. Grumpy Cat still has her fans, however the adorable cat (pictured above) is absolutely not quite as hot.

Independent Worker Marketplaces Grow, Merge

9 oDesk and Elance announce a merger 9 . The two online freelance marketplaces decided to pool resources. That fact, consisting of 0 30+ other freelancer sites 0 , shows how the labor market is changing, with more hiring of independent workers being done online.

Crowdfunding Sites Grow

Sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo became instrumental in funding startup projects. And 1 sites like CrowdBrewed 1 are bobbing up to symbolize niche markets like brewing. Meanwhile, the SEC issued “no action letters” that made it a piece easier to do 2 online venture crowdfunding 2 .

Internet Sales Tax Heats Up, Stalls

The issue  3 continues to divide 3  small business owners, dependent on their business interests.  An effort to pass national legislation — the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act — appears stalled in Congress.  Meanwhile, various states tried attacking related issues from another angle, by taxing affiliate internet marketing.

3D printing for small business

Printing Evolves From Laserjet to 3D

Traditional printing remained widespread, despite our move to electronic data. The 4 HP laserjet turned 30 years old 4  and HP shipped its 200 millionth printer. But 2013 also was the year that saw 3D printing begin to hit the mainstream (image above). 5 Some UPS Stores now offer 3D printing to customers 5 .

Bitcoin: Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing?

Bitcoin, the choice virtual currency, was  6 much discussed throughout 2013 6 .  Some Web entrepreneurs use it since it makes it harder to trace their money.  However, Bitcoin has far to visit catch on with mainstream small businesses.

Privacy and Security Woes Increase

By now you’ve examine the NSA reading emails and hearing phone calls.  But it’s not just the govt. digging into your privacy.  News came out that  7 Facebook knows more about you 7  than you would think.  And  8 hackers found small businesses to be easy targets 8 .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *