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2008 Trends for Small Business

Small business trends for 2008 show constraint and promise

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Business trends for 2008 According to Business Week, these are the trends on the radar for small business.


Promising technologies and services aimed at reducing carbon emissions will be in luck. The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University sees openings for entrepreneurs offering cheap technology in less affluent markets around the globe. Less certain is whether the federal regulatory landscape will change.


The weak U.S. dollar means entrepreneurs who export to Europe and Canada could experience a windfall. Other countries that could provide opportunity are China and Latin America (Columbia, Peru and Venezuela).


Look for your phone to become your PC. Mobile smartphones are the new must-haves, and they're a boon to small businesses. Business owners can use them to do everything from locating employees with GPS-enabled devices to notifying customers of discounts, say, or delivery delays. The phone's growing list of Web-based applications for accounting, human resources, and sales will also make life simpler.


A full-blown credit crunch may have been averted, but banks still are ratcheting up lending standards for startups and small companies that want to expand. Small companies that use real estate for collateral will find it particularly tough to borrow.


Tax relief and health-care reform will drive small business owners to the polls in 2008. But until the Presidential race becomes a two-person contest, most entrepreneurs probably will pay more attention to local races than to the national prize. Candidates recognize that small business owners make up a large part of their voting base -- but they aren't convinced that they vote as small business owners rather than around other issues.


How does this affect "Green"?

Obviously, green technology will grow. Not so obvious is the rapid change in the green marketplace that focuses on cost effectiveness based on the weak economy.

California Green Solutions sees reluctance on the part of consumers and business buyers to pay more for green. They are looking for simpler systems that will save them money as well as improve the environment.

Another trend we are spotting is the desire to "restore" the environment, not just maintain status quo. Improving the quality of water, air, soil and food above and beyond the levels we have taken for granted as "health" are being looked at by the visionaries in public and private sectors.

What trend will YOU set in 2008? Your contribution of ideas, decisions and where you spend your dollars will make the system of collective action the most impactful trend of 2008.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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