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Is 2014 the Year That Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Take the Spotlight?

The media is filled with stories of people who fell just short of their goals, while big businesses took the lead. But a new trend seems to be emerging, and that’s the rise of individuals beating the odds to make a name for themselves.

Layoffs: The Detroit auto bust was a huge sign in this generation that jobs weren’t as secure as once thought to be, with thousands of employees taking early retirements and being laid off. But the difference between now and a generation or two ago is replacement jobs just aren’t as prevalent. While this leads to fear and anxiety in a lot of people, those determined and undeterred to let layoffs stop them from reaching their goals have turned to an alternative solution: employing themselves.

By becoming an entrepreneur or small business, people take full control of their own employment situation, risk, reward and everything in between. The market and economy may dictate to a certain extent how well they fare, but at the end of the day, it’s up to an entrepreneur or small business owner to take the actions necessary for survival.

Trends for 2014: The new year is only a few weeks old, but patterns are already emerging as to what kind of projects and businesses will be strong. Healthier ways of living, like eating well, smoking e-cigarettes instead of tobacco ones, and promoting physical fitness, are making their presence felt this year. But along with feeling better, people also want to look sharper, too, and sales of clothing and jewelry are on their way up. And lastly, it almost goes without saying, but technology-related businesses are continuing to increase in prominence.

Surprises: One of the biggest shocks for 2014 is the return of the automotive industry, asserting its flex and might with a roar. It turns out that Americans never stopped wanting cars, they just wanted them made in a different, more efficient way. And perhaps it’s because gay marriage is becoming increasingly legalized and promoted, but the wedding and bridal industry is showing strong growth, too.

The Tools to Succeed: Listing all the tips, tricks and strengths an entrepreneur or small business owner needs to succeed would take more space than in this article, but one thing is absolutely necessary—fearlessness. Business won’t always be good, but the successful leaders are the ones who throw themselves in and aren’t afraid to take chances. Just make sure there’s common sense and industry research to back up the risks.

Big businesses are starting to have to make way for entrepreneurs and small business owners, both of whom are determined to succeed in 2014. But who will rise to the top?

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