As 2015 comes to a close, #smallbiz owners should take this time to ask themselves what worked and what didn’t in their business. This week’s Trending Thursday has advice for all those entrepreneurs looking to build on the accomplishments of 2015 and kick off 2016 on a strong foot. Whether it’s capitalizing on the newest technologies or preparing for Gen Z (they’re almost here!), there’s something every business mogul can take away in this week’s roundup.

Catch up on this week’s #smallbiz news below and let us know what your 2016 plan for success is.

  1. Have you been dreaming about starting your own business? Inc.’s Minda Zetlin believes this is the year to stop dreaming and start doing. She details exactly why 2016 will be the year of the entrepreneur. Her No. 1 reason? It’s easier than ever to get a small business loan, especially with simple online tools, such as Marlin’s Funding Stream. She also says starting your own business will make you happier and increase your self-worth.
  1. There are eight days until Christmas and there are sure to be consumers this weekend scrambling to get their last-minute shopping completed. Donna Maria Coles Johnson says it’s not too late for small businesses to lure these shoppers into your business. Some of her tips include telling your most loyal customers that time is running out to get their favorite products in 2015. She also recommends updating your website home page with a holiday graphic that links to a single page with all of the items you are looking to sell to last-minute shoppers.
  1. TrendingDec17(2)Inspiration comes in many forms. And many entrepreneurs can use inspirational moments to help them with their business goals. Some entrepreneurs found inspiration in Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S., while others found inspiration in an inventor’s prolific milestone: breaking Thomas Edison’s record for lifetime patents. Ilan Mochari compiled a quick list of other moments that will inspire your inner entrepreneur.
  1. What do business owners, professionals and experts expect 2016 to hold for small business? Business News Daily says the overall consensus is that it will be a year ripe with opportunity, yet also teeming with new obstacles to overcome. From public policies and regulation to harnessing the newest technologies, the responses run the gamut of everything small business owners should be aware of before the ball drops in Times Square. Check out the full list here, which was put together by Adam Uzialko, who divides the predictions into several categories, which include: Business Climate, Policy & Regulation, Cybersecurity, and Mobile.
  1. With $200 billion in buying power, it’s no wonder millennials have been the “holy grail” consumer for many brands. While millennials continue to be an important market for companies, a new purchasing powerhouse is demanding attention: Gen Z, the generation encompassing kids born between the mid-1990s and the present. The oldest members of Gen Z are still teenagers, but they already wield a buying power of $44 billion, and it’s steadily growing. Combine that influence with the fact that they make up nearly 26 percent of the population and you’ve got more than enough reasons to start paying attention. Christie Garton shares some specific strategies you can implement to prepare for Gen Z.

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