Negosentro.com | Emerging Small Business Trends You Should Know About | The world of business is always changing, and it’s often changing in small businesses that go on to influence changes in larger businesses. The larger a business is, the slower the process of change becomes. Habits become hard to change, policies take longer to implement, and messages take longer to get from the top to the bottom. That’s why small businesses often have the advantage when it comes to keeping ahead of the market. They’re more dynamic, and they can adapt to change faster.
In order to adapt to change, you first have to be aware that change is happening at all. That means staying on top of trends is even more important as a small business owner than as a big business owner. The downside of being small is that if one of your rivals manages to jump onto a trend before you do, you can end up looking stuck in the past, and losing business to your more forward-thinking competitor. Familiarize yourself with the emerging trends we’re about to outline for you below, and make sure you’re not caught out.
For the majority of businesses, the biggest monthly expense you’ll face is the rental cost of the place you do your business, whether that’s an office or a store. Ask yourself a very big question – do you really need it? More people are working from home now than ever before – and they’re earning more money by doing so. Video conferencing and fast internet connections mean that people can be ‘in the office’ without physically leaving their homes. So long as someone has a computer and a telephone line in the event they need to speak to people, do they really need to be in your line of sight at all times? The fewer people you need in your office each day, the smaller the office you’ll need. That means lower rental costs and better profit margins. Consider whether the people who commute to you every day really need to be there, and determine whether they’d be better suited to working from home instead.
We’re moving into a new era when it comes to the internet. Gone are the days when a potential customer would be blown away by the complexity of your website, with all its flashing images and slick promotional videos. People have less patience now, and all they really want to do is find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. Online slots websites understand this better than anybody else does. Go and look up an online slots website and study the way they position their attractions, and where their focus is. Chances are the first thing you’ll see is a range of online slots and slots promos right there on the landing page. If your website has more than five or six pages, chances are you’re overcomplicating the issue and making your content and products too hard to find. Less is more. Trim it down and become more efficient.
Several years ago, we started to see predictions that artificial intelligence would eventually replace customer service agents in many lines of work, and people scoffed at the idea. Now, we’re starting to see it happen. AI is constantly improving and evolving, and you’ve probably visited a website recently and had an AI chat box pop up asking how it can help you. Nobody is saying that AI can completely replace your customer service agents – yet – but it might be able to replace some of them. The staff that you employ to answer basic queries probably aren’t doing anything that a good AI program can’t, and if the AI can’t assist a customer with a task, it can refer the customer on to a human who can. That likely means that your ‘first line’ customer service agents aren’t required. That might sound a little harsh – but it will cut your salary expenditure down if you can implement it.
If you’re sending mass emails out to potential customers and getting very little back in return, we’re not surprised. Everybody knows what a mass-produced generic promotional email looks like now, and everybody knows to avoid them. People are far more inclined to engage with you when you use the information you already know about them to make your service personal. Many modern sales funnel systems have been developed to allow you to categorize your customers and send them tailored content that’s more likely to speak to their specific interests. You can even send automated follow-up emails based on their responses and their past purchasing behavior. If you collect data on what customers buy from you, and when they do it, you can send marketing content to them at the time they’re most likely to be online and offering products related to what they’ve previously bought. Your conversion rates will increase as a result – and that makes every single marketing campaign more cost-effective.
It’s no longer enough to say that you do all the right things as a company – you have to show it. Customers – especially younger customers – are becoming ever-more savvy about the companies they choose to engage with. Your impact on the local community and the wider environment is likely to be considered by customers before they choose to do business with you. They’ll want to know what you believe in as a business, and who you do your own business with. That means having visible connections to charities and worthwhile causes, and a ‘green’ approach to your work. Even if the whole point of your business is to make money, your customers don’t want to know that. They like to believe that when they buy from you, the money they spend might go towards doing something good in the world. Foster close connections to the community around you. Let people make charitable donations through you when they buy from you. Show people that you care, and you might just find that they’re more likely to care about you as a result.
Once upon a time, the most obvious sign that a business was going places was that it owned large offices in a desirable part of a town or city. In the future, it might be that businesses with large offices are seen as stuck in the past and out of touch with the digital age. Embrace technology, streamline your operations and stay ahead of the game.