With the start of the New Year just a few weeks away, it’s definitely time to look at the small business trends that are likely to be the center of attention in the coming year. There are countless trends being discussed in the news, but we selected a few that should be on your radar. We feel the business trends on our list have a good chance of making a big impact for small and mid-sized companies nationwide.

Cloud computing.

It seems like everyone is talking about cloud computing these days, and for good reason. Cloud computing enables a whole host of business tasks to be performed through a secure Internet connection, which helps small businesses save money. With cloud computing, you don’t need expensive computer servers to store business files and data, and you won’t have to worry about the costs associated with IT maintenance. Results from a recent Gartner study indicate the cloud computing market will be worth over $150 billion next year.

Mobile computing.

Mobile shopping numbers went through the roof last year, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. This presents small businesses with an opportunity to sell more of their products and services. However, this can only be achieved with a user-friendly mobile website that offers an easy online shopping experience. If you don’t have a mobile version of your website, now is the time to get one. Make sure you have your mobile website designed and optimized for the various mobile phones, tablets and search engines.

Social marketing.

Social marketing is on our list of small business trends for the New Year, even though it’s not a trend at all. We are including it because it will continue to evolve as one of the most popular and widely used marketing tools. Marketing-savvy small businesses will look beyond social platforms such as Facebook and expand their online reach through other applications. Plus, social media is moving beyond the standard posts, tweets and linked stories that have been filling our computer screens and mobile devices over the past few years. Social marketing is now a critical component of the small business marketing mix, and it must be done in a strategic manner in order to be effective. Lastly, more and more small businesses will use online tools to track the success of their social media campaigns.