Business Trends of 2012 and What Will We See In 2013

Business trends of 2012 and 2013About a year ago, we took a look at the business trends of 2011 and what was emerging for 2012. Well, now we’ve ushered in 2013 and it’s time to take a look to see what actually emerged as trends.

In the post from last year, we noted that influence sites like Klout, gamification and the shift from ownership to access to goods and/or services were supposed to be the trends of 2012.While Zipcar and AirBnB are examples of how access to goods and/or services is thrumming along, influence sites and gamification seems to have fallen off people’s radars.

*Please join us Friday, January 4th at 5pm BST/12pm ET/9am PT for the Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz as take a look at the business trends of 2012 and what might come in 2013. Not sure how to participate? Please click here for tips and advice.

Okay, so what did happen in 2012?

1. Big data- This might be the overall winner of trends.So much has been written about how to take an amazing amount of information and derive some kind of meaning out of it. An extraordinary amount of detailed information about consumer behavior, innovation,competition and productivity (you can read about some of the applications here) can be analyzed and then applied. Even small businesses are finding a use for this data.

2. Mobile- Between BYOD (bring your own device) policies, the presence of tablets and apps to make everything we do more possible, we saw mobile devices become the connectors for companies in local and global markets, tools for professional development and training as well as consumer-controlled media.

3. Flexible workplaces- This trend is likely to continue into 2013 as more and more workers are exhausted from the last 5 years of turbulence. Working from home, using technology for consistent and faster access to the “office” and a desire for more work-life integration are becoming norms.

There are more trends of all types but these are standouts. We even took at look at MDEC (Multi-Directional Expressive Capability) with John Twohig this past year and this is gaining ground as companies want to know who is really engaged and sharing the content across social media platforms.

Potential trends of 2013

This is where things get very interesting…

1. Economic uncertainty-This may not really be a potential situation. The Eurozone continues to experience turbulence despite signs that individual economies might see limited growth over the year. The US economy is at risk depending on what Congress does. There has even been concern that the BRIC nations are slowing down.

2. Clouds are everywhere- and we’re not even talking about the weather. Public, private and hybrid clouds are enabling work to be stored, ease collaboration between geographically-separated teams and services provided. Cloud computing is making big differences all over the world and enabling small businesses to scale more effectively.

3. More companies are embracing corporate social responsibility- To make profit, companies are embracing the idea that standing for something, having purpose drive how they conduct themselves, is gaining momentum.

You can see more predictions here on (which includes the final death throes of the fax machine) and global trends here at The Economist. It’s not all lightness and wonder as there are concerns about the haves and have-nots as well as how resources around the world may be dwindling. If Bette Davis will forgive me for paraphrasing her famous quote from All About Eve…fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy year.

So what do you think?

In this week’s Twitter chat, #KaizenBiz, we’re going to take a look back at 2012 and try to peer into the future of 2013.. Please join us on Friday at 5pm GMT/12pm ET/9am PT and share your observations.

Happy New Year!

What trends did you notice in 2012?

What trend surprised you the most?

What didn’t happen in 2012?

What do you see emerging in 2013?

About the author:  Elli St.George Godfrey, founder of Ability Success Growth and small business coach/trainer, is the host of KaizenBiz. I’m passionate about business becoming a more human-centered place so I host this chat to connect business ideas and develop people.This passion shows up in my work with my clients. Whether you are expanding in your own backyard or into another country, Ability Success Growth guides established small business owners to unlock the CEO within during times of transition and growth.


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