Ten forecasts for 2010 (Part1)

Hi all

This is going to be a great year to be an entrepreneur. There’s a boom (…overseas), new technology (…think phones) and Britain’s favourite entrepreneur is going to get even richer. And there are a few landmines ahead for the unwary…

10 Branson earns another billion

No matter how good 2010 is for you, Sir Richard is going to do better. He’s launching a new high street bank, starting work on a new launch site for his Virgin Galaxy spacecraft and will be celebrating a series of victories in the airline business as international operators such as Japan Airlines and British Airways hit turbulence. Looking as far ahead as March and Sir Richard will even be enjoying the debut of his Formula One team, Virgin Racing, at the Bahrain Grand Prix. God knows what he’s got planned for the rest of the year.

What you need to do: Look at your business and ask yourself “What would Branson do?”. And then do it.

9 Newspapers could go bust

The Independent is at death’s door. The Guardian is haemorrhaging money. The Evening Standard was sold for a quid. And the Times and Telegraph are losing sales year after year.

The dead tree press is on its knees and 2010 could be the year when the owners tire of losing money and shut up shop en masse. Regional newspapers are already being culled. Even the Birmingham Post now comes out just once a week. And no, Murdoch’s paywalls won’t save the industry.

What you need to do: Squeeze the value out of print before it dies. Haggle hard for advertising rates, safe in the knowledge that newspapers and magazines are desperate for your business. And develop a marketing strategy which can survive the end of print.

8 Europe falters

China and India will boom in 2010. China grew its economy 8 per cent last year and is forecast to beat that this year. India is not far behind, with an official growth forecast of 7.5 per cent.

By contrast France, Germany and the rest of the Eurozone will be struggling to hit 1 per cent growth. EU member Latvia has posted a fall in GDP of 24 per cent over the past two years – a world record setting collapse.

What you need to do: Get out of Europe. Book yourself on a trade missions to India or China to take advantage of these cash rich markets. Tickets for exporters are heavily subsidised by UKTI, and now there are free flights for exporters courtesy of BA.

7 BIS-who?

Riddle inside mystery wrapped in enigma… just what does the department for business do? There was the Rover Enquiry, ten million quid over budget, four years late and useless when it was published. There are dozens of bizarre quangos. The productive bodies, such as the small business service and small business council, have been abandoned. It was the DTI, the DBERR, now BIS.

A quid says BIS gets renamed by the Tories as they carve up the Whitehall department seen as bottom of the productivity rankings.

What you need to do: Nothing.

6 Look mum, no wallet!

Contactless swipe cards were unveiled last year, but didn’t really catch on. This year they will. The ability of consumers to use a debit card for purchases under £10 without inputting a pin will change consumer behaviour. Vending machines will become more popular, just as they are in Japan, as payment processing time is cut from a minute to two seconds.

We will also see debit cards being incorporated into mobile phones, so consumers don’t need to carry around a wallet. Just wave your mobile at the terminal, listen out for the beep, and then you’re done. The Nokia 6131 is just one model incorporating this technology.

What you need to do: Upgrade your tills to enable contactless payments.

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2 Responses

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CiscoUKI: Interesting blog by Charles Orton-Jones on the year ahead for small business http://is.gd/8wiH6 #sme #2010 #business…

  2. Love your forecasts! So true about the swipe cards, they will catch on and change consumer behaviour as you say. Thanks!

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