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8 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2017

Entrepreneurial confidence in the economy could spur new investments

“In 2017, increased confidence among small business owners regarding the economy and their overall performance could lead to trends in business investment. Both the economy and stock market have shown signs of strength during the final weeks of 2016, and this helps increase business owner optimism.” – Carla Freberg, Director of Sales, Vendor Services Group, Balboa Capital

Niche companies will find success

“Business success wil come from further focusing on smaller, very specific audiences. Going extremely deep with customized messages and specialized platforms to a highly receptive and loyal audience will replace wide approach “shot gun” marketing. [We’ll see] more soft or no ask/call to action marketing focused on community building, experiences and lifestyle over product specific messaging.” – Kyle Golding, chief strategic idealist at The Golding Group

Crowdfunding will play a key role in financing small business

“Crowdfunding will continue to be an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding platforms allow entrepreneure to easily validate and fund a new product or service all while growing their customer base.”  – Michael Banks, founder of FortunateInvestor.com

Investment assets will shift to reflect an uncertain market

“We’ll see more money go into cryptocurrencies, probably Bitcoin as it’s still the leader, and potentially precious metals. Stocks, bonds and real estate are all in bubbles of one sort or another. One of the consequences of central bank intervention with money printing is that all the mainstream asset classes are tightly correlated. So with the economy worldwide looking precarious right now, we’ll see people managing risk by shifting capital from over-valued asset classes into an under-valued class. When all the major asset classes are in bubbles, there is no ‘cheaper’ asset class to shift capital into, so it has to go elsewhere. I can see gold and cryptocurrencies absorbing that money and rising appropriately.” – Brandon Ackroyd, head of customer insight at Tiger Mobiles

Money will no longer flow freely to new tech startups

“While investment dollars and market opportunities in the tech sector are still plentiful, the era of adoration and adulation of the world of startups seems to be drawing to a close. This is as much a result of high profile flops … as it is by the sheer volume of startup activity.” – Matt Harrigan, co-founder of Grand Central Tech

The art of “house-flipping” is back in vogue

“Last year, due to a lack of inventory, the housing market could not keep up with buyer demand and we definitely noticed an influx of home loan requests. Home-flipping is making a comeback and big bank lenders are starting to extend credit lines to companies specializing in home-flipping. From what we can predict, the housing market will continue to stay strong in 2017, especially in commercial real estate and home-flipping.” – Dean Sioukas, founder of Magille Loans

On-demand business models will become more common, even in B2B spaces

“[We] were one of the earliest pioneers in the crowdsourcing and sharing economy movement. We have watched as the marketplace business model has expanded and grown, and I don’t see any of that momentum letting up. In fact, as the use of these marketplace apps and sites like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and Taskrabbit become so mainstream among consumers, it’s driving even more momentum in the corporate and B2B space.” – Patrick Lewellyn, CEO of99designs

Support services will emerge around a growing freelance workforce

“2017 will herald a lot of additional services and products that will enable freelancers specifically to have access to credit or additional payment options. If I were an entrepreneur with a service or product that could be tailored to freelancers, I would be looking at how best to service this growing segment of the economy. This segment will only continue to grow and represents the most disruptive segment in terms of growth and innovation.” – Keisha Blair, co-founder of Aspier-Canada

AI use will grow amongst small businesses

“Businesses are rapidly embracing artificial intelligence to gain a competitive edge and stay relevant to consumers as brand engagement will be reimagined next year. But you should decide if you want to be B2B or B2C, because it is very difficult to scale if your try to do both.” – Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logics