Greensboro, NC -- 2012 is looking to be a setback for Sears Holdings Corp. Stores are closing all over the country, including at least one in the Piedmont at Oak Hollow Mall in High Point. What else could 2012 bring businesswise?
Michael Wittenberg, a certified financial planner, and Betty Kane, Guilford College's business department chair have the inside on the local and national trends.
Wittenberg gave a list of what's hot and what's not for 2012. On the "not" list were big box retailers. Wittenberg said many of these are being pressured by online sales.
Others he said were on the "not" list:
Movie theaters- They're facing greater competition as movie studios move to release films sooner via other portals.
Traditional workdays and employee benefits- Employers are reconsidering how much they're willing to spend on employee benefits.
Landline phones- More people are switching to cellular phones, and companies are phasing out landline phones.
Wittenberg's hot list for 2012:
Internet education- This is a growing field because of the convenience factor.
Companies using social media more for customer service than marketing- We've seen companies post apologies and answer customer questions on their Facebook, Twitter accounts.
Increasing oil prices from geopolitical tension- The U.S. might not see this right away, but it could increase causing higher gas prices later in the year.
Demand for employees to be available through technology 24/7 will increase in 2012, blurring the work and non-work day- With cell phones, email, social media accounts, more employees will be expected to stay in contact with their work duties while on personal time.
On the local level, Betty Kane said healthcare providers, specifically physician assistants, will thrive in 2012. She said some manufacturing like aviation and furniture orders will be up in the new year. Kane pointed to the Honda Jet and Timco jobs and the new Ralph Lauren facility in High Point.
Kane said construction is expected to be up slightly with an emphasis on remodeling. Information technology across the board will be big business in 2012 as well as logistics.
In her list of some of the unique industry stars in the Triad were Replacements, Ltd. and BB&T.
On the other side of the business atmosphere, Kane said are those most affected by weakened consumer demand. She said that will continue to lag until the job situation in the U.S improves, affecting retail and textiles.
If you are thinking about starting your own business in 2012, Kane said this is a good time to do it.
"Innovation is always timely," said Kane. "This is the time to do your homework. Make sure your idea is sound, prepare a detailed business plan and marketing plan, line up your financing."
Kane said there are a lot of entrepreneur programs and classes that are available in the Triad including the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship.
Michael Wittenberg and Betty Kane have more insight on the business outlook for 2012 in the attached video.
WFMY News 2