What are some important small business trends to watch for in 2018? As a small business owner, it’s not always possible to stay current on the trends you need to know. After all, you’re focused on wearing many hats in your organization - taking care of HR needs, joining your sales team on calls, or working on marketing your brand takes up a lot of your time.
To help you stay current on the trends and strategize about how you’re going to move forward, we’ve put together the top six Small Business trends you’ll need to know for 2018.
Top 3 Small Business Sales & Marketing Trends
Small Business Trend 1: Personalized Marketing Content for Millennials
The first small business trend to watch out for is how rapid the millennial demographic is growing. A study done by Accenture shows that millennials are spending $600 million a year, which demonstrates a true buying and spending power. These technologically savvy consumers are looking for personal, quick, mobile, and original content. As such, small businesses are becoming more personal and adding more human connections in their marketing approach.
In order to sell to millennials, small businesses need to maintain a balance of what the consumer needs to know, while also keeping it concise with a straight-to-the-point pitch. In 2018, therefore, small businesses will notice a trend for more honest and transparent marketing campaigns.
Small Business Trend 2: Social Media and Live Video on the Rise
22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook
41% of millennials use social media every day
81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day
Snapchat reaches 41% of 18 to 34-year-olds
51% of Instagram users access the platform daily, and 35% say they look at the platform several times per day
Another small business trend for you to pay attention to is the increasing use of social media and popularity of video content. With social media, one key point to note is that, in order to be successful, quality is more important than quantity.
Whether it is streaming product launches, demos, Q&As, or product reviews, live videos are becoming more prevalent in small business marketing strategies – and what better way to launch these videos than using the existing social media platforms?
Small Business Trend 3: Account-Based Selling
The third small business trend is Account-Based Selling (ABS). It is a sales model that spends time upfront to identify high-value clients/accounts and nurtures their business to generate long term relationships. This differs from the more traditional sales approach of casting a wide net and using those leads to close a portion of them into clients.
The ABS method calls for the collaboration of multiple departments (such as Sales and Marketing) to create a cohesive strategy to grow key accounts. And with today’s tools, such as a CRM like Dynamics 365, it is easier and faster to identify these high impact players. Once these accounts are identified, the ABS team can create and deliver highly tailored content to these customers.
Top 3 Small Business Technology Trends
Small Business Trend 4: Adopting Analytics in 2018
Here’s a disturbing figure you should be aware of. Although 46 percent of small business owners don’t know if their marketing efforts are effective, only 24 percent of them plan to spend more on analytics in 2018. How can you make important and valuable business decisions if you aren’t fully aware of what’s happening? That’s why one of the small business trends for 2018 is an emphasis on adopting analytics.
By implementing a Business Intelligence solution, like Power BI, you have a unique opportunity to delve deeper into your data so that you can make more informed business decisions.
Small Business Trend 5: More Focus on Working Remotely
Another small business trend that will become more popular in 2018 is allowing your employees to work remotely. What are the benefits? Not only do you widen the talent pool available for your business by looking outside of your immediate geographical area, but studies have shown that you can also save an average of $20,000 annually for each full-time employee you hire to work remotely, your employee turnover rate will drop by 50%, and your employee productivity could increase by more than 30%!
Embracing Cloud-based apps is the first step in providing a flexible work environment for your employees. With the introduction of a number of Cloud-based collaboration tools, like Office 365, it’s much easier to allow your employees to work remotely when needed.
Small Business Trend 6: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The next small business trend to watch out for is a growing demand for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). 42% of small businesses report that their employees are now asking if they can use their personal devices for business. Allow it is one of the ways to alleviate employee frustration from having to work with unfamiliar devices.
Before you start allowing your employees to use their own personal devices at work, however, here are some important questions to think about:
Where is your data being stored?
In a corporately-managed Cloud environment? Or on your employees’ devices?
What happens if that device goes missing, is lost, or gets stolen?
In the event of an employee’s exit from the company, how do you ensure their personal device doesn’t have your corporate data still on it?
Making sure that your organization stays secure is another important part of this small business trend of BYOD. There are various tools and products to improve your organization’s security. Do you know how secure your organization is? Running a quick cybersecurity assessment is a great way to check your current security status.
This blog post is co-authored by Change Connect and ProServeIT. We publish a monthly blog specifically written for small businesses. Some of the topics we have discussed include security, CRM, Cloud computing, and Business Intelligence (BI). Click here to view a list of the previous co-authored blogs for small businesses.
About Change Connect
Change Connect specializes in helping clients to work more efficiently and effectively in pursuit of their revenue goals. We offer customized solutions for small to midsized businesses with a focus on Sales Transformation, which includes implementing strategic Sales and Marketing plans. Whatever stage your business is at, whether you’re a start-up looking to expand or an established company looking to move from a plateau to record growth, Change Connect is your partner in transformation. Change Connect – Making Sales Scalable.
As a multi-award winning Microsoft Gold Partner, ProServeIT has been helping SMBs increase their efficiency for over fifteen years. We’re constantly looking for ways to help our customers get the most out of their technology investments. Interested in some of the small business trends that have been discussed in this blog? Talk to us to see how we can help your organization with various tools!