If I have to describe the small business environment in a single word, the most appropriate word that I can think of is “change.” To be honest, small businesses are going through a whole lot of changes recently; all thanks to the advancements in communication fields, IT, marketing and other fields.
In this article, I’ve highlighted a few small business trends that are currently on the rise. Let’s begin.
- A social media presence is considered a necessity and not a luxury
Having a presence on social media has become an absolute must for almost all business ventures.
You’ll see most small businesses ranging from the tiniest restaurant joints to the biggest e-commerce firms having a definite presence of social media (example Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus etc.)
Previously, the online trend was mainly limited to having a complete website. Most businesses were convinced to have a website at the very least. But for the last couple of years, the social media craze has compelled them to expand their online presence to the social media.
Even the smallest businesses of the lot are trying their utmost to up their games on social media. They are also using the platform to promote their goods/services to the masses in general.
It’s a trend that is believed to have a high return on investment. The social media craze in businesses has already gone off the charts. If you haven’t got on the bandwagon, it’s time you get on it ASAP.
Your action plan
- If you have no social media presence, it almost goes without saying that get one. If you want my suggestion, I will say twitter considering its accessibility, relevance and openness.
- Already have a social media presence? Ask yourself this question: “Why are you there?” Are you fulfilling the reasons for which you are there? Evaluate in detail and reflect on the results. Take apt actions on basis of that.
- You might also hire yourself a social media expert to help you out in this aspect.
- Endeavour to go clean as well as green
Environmental issues are considered a big concern of the modern world. To be honest, it’s an excellent thing to see that small businesses are paying special heed to environmental issues in recent times.
With global concerns rising over issues like the global warming, pollution, plastic, flora and fauna extinction etc., small businesses have invested greatly in going clean and green policies to capitalize on rising environmental concerns.
Strategies used in these cases normally include things like cutting down on plastic or paper use and even requesting the customer to go green by asking him/her to avoid using plastics as much as possible.
Your action plan
- Make a complete review of your services and processes from the eco-friendly point of view. If you need to make some changes and you feel that they are feasible enough to be within your budget, go ahead and make those changes without any hesitation.
- Start cataloguing services or products in your businesses that are eco-friendly in nature. Make sure you incorporate their eco-friendly nature in detail in your marketing campaigns to attract more customers.
- More focus on customer service
This has become another unique and positive trend from the customer point of view. Many small businesses are focusing solely on customer support. That’s because most have realized that if you support your customers well, your chances of customer retention increases by a notch or two.
Strong focus on customer support was considered a privilege in the past; not anymore. With the incorporation advanced technology like chatbots, customer service has become convenient, easier and more efficient.
Your action plan
- In simpler words, a vast improvement in customer support’s required (in case you aren’t at par) in terms of 24/7 hours availability, prompt response, proper solutions etc. Strategize accordingly.
- Do you have chatbots for customer interactions? If you don’t have them, consider deploying some.
- Less storefronts and more websites
Small businesses lately have become quite divergent. While the major giants have the force to do many things to improve their business revenues, small businesses on the other hand are actually trying hard to get themselves smaller from the physical storefront point of view to increase customer reach and maximize profit.
With advancements in mobile technology, most small businesses are flourishing significantly on the internet. By reducing physical storefronts, small businesses are reducing headaches on one hand and saving a lot of maintenance costs on the other.
Your action plan
- Do you have a physical storefront and online presence at the same time? Consider giving it a full review from the head to the toe. If you think that your storefront’s unnecessary, consider appropriate measure to cut down costs on its maintenance.
- If you have only a physical storefront and no online presence, get yourself on the internet ASAP simple by getting yourself a business website.
So what do you reckon? Do you feel that getting on these trends can affect your business from a positive point of view? Well if you feel it can, don’t just procrastinate. Hop on the bandwagon ASAP.