Issues Small Business Owners Will Face in 2015
Small business owners in the U.S. constantly face challenges in the marketplace. Every year, they log more than 40 hours a week at their pre-engineered metal buildings and contend with different issues. While a 2013 Bloomberg study said 8 out of 10 business fail, many still thrive in the market. To survive is to adapt, and to stay successful, small business owners keep a keen eye on the future. Here are some issues they’ll deal with in the next few months.
Changes in Healthcare
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act comes in stages. In 2015, more provisions will take effect and small business owners need to be aware. For example, some employers could face a healthcare penalty. Companies with over 100 employees who don’t offer insurance will have to pay $2,000 for each employee, after the first 30. That could get very pricey. For employers with 50-99 employees, those rules don’t take effect until 2016. Companies who employ less than 50 full-time employees won’t have to face that mandate, while employers with less than 25 employees can qualify for certain tax credits.
Changes in Government
Small businesses play a huge role in our economy. According to a study by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, U.S. small businesses represents 99% of all employer firms, employ about half of private sector employees, and generated 60-80% of net new jobs annually over the last decade. Small business owners are focused on job creation, and can help grow the economy in 2015 with less mandates and taxes. Changes in policy and legislation could be the result from new government officials taking office in the November midterm elections and beyond. For instance, the minimum wage will increase at the start of 2015 for six different states, and six more, including the District of Columbia, have plans to see rises later in the year.
Mobile marketing took a hold on businesses in 2014, and its only heating up. People are becoming more comfortable with social media, and they aren’t shy about sharing their opinions. Now, companies can’t ignore the trends of mobile marketing. In a June study by ShareThis.com, 25% of millennials shared digital content on social media up to four times a week. It’s almost too easy to catch on to what was known as a phenomenon, but now is marketing commonplace. Pre-engineered metal building owners focused on growth would be smart to jump on this bandwagon and integrate these practices into their normal marketing strategy.
Products constantly transform in our society, and successful small businesses find ways to cultivate business to meet the ever-changing needs of the consumer. 15 years ago, most people only used cell phones for the traditional routine – talking. While that’s still one primary use, companies improved the procedure and modified smartphones for everyday application; it’s a computer at your fingertips. In fact, a study by PewInternet.org shows 81% of mobile users now use the phone primarily to send or receive text messages, or use the internet. Be open to adjusting your product to the demand of society. While you usher in a new year, you can also watch your demand increase.
Nobody thinks they’ll fall victim to a cybercrime until it happens, and it could have a devastating effect on your small business. If only it was as easy as putting a lock on the door of your pre-engineered metal building. Companies like Home Depot and Midwest-based grocery store chain, Schnucks, have had their credit card systems compromised in the past few years. While those bigger businesses can survive (hopefully) a destructive cyber attack, your small business can’t risk the possibility. Beef up your online defense by securing your infrastructure with anti-virus software and firewalls, separating your personal and business accounts, and using a dedicated computer only for professional purposes.
Time management is always an issue with small business owners. How can you be five places at once while juggling the firm’s marketing, public relations, accounting and management duties? Look at ways to take a strategic approach to solving problems and reducing your workload, while still increasing your profits. This is really a recurring issue, but successful small business owners are always focused on the future.
Make sure your small business is ready for 2015. The new year brings a fresh opportunity for new directions. Take a look at our Small Business Owners Network for more helpful tips and guides.Photo courtesy: citirecruitment