The 7 Biggest Small Business Trends

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1.      MILLENNIALS WILL GET THEIR SAY

Millennials are starting to become leaders.

Millennials are seeking to make deeper connections with millennial consumers. In practice, this means more experiential sales and marketing, less emphasis on glitz and glamour, and a push for consumers to “connect” with brands.

2.      MARKETING DRIVES RESULTS WITH A FOCUS ON PROBLEMS

Top performing companies will focus sharply on the challenges they help their clients overcome instead of focusing on the products and services they offer. This shifts the focus where it should be – to the customer. Your ideal client may not even realise that they could benefit from your product or service.

3.      DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WILL DOMINATE BUSINESS STRATEGY

Technology is at the core of the shift to digital. Smart people are getting increasing access to data to make smarter decisions based on real-time facts, not gut feel. Smart analytics will therefore enable businesses to more easily identify new opportunities and generate more sales, increase profits, improve productivity and create better customer experiences.

Small businesses now have access to many of the benefits of these technologies at low cost and getting associated returns, if properly implemented.

It’s likely that your small business will never directly implement any part of but it will certainly tap into tech services.

4.     SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS ARE THE NEW RAINMAKERS.

As technology continues to expand and disrupt industries, companies and clients rely more and more on subject matter experts to educate, guide and advise. They are a valuable resource to discuss industry trends, share best-practices, and discuss solutions.

5.     SKILLS SHORTAGES

There are still widespread labour shortages, particularly for skilled, highly educated workers. A growing number of companies rely on immigrant workers. There is still some uncertainty about policy after the election.

Businesses are trying to solve skills shortages by tapping into short-term contract and freelance employees vs. paying a premium for top talent as well as augmenting current roles through automation or outsourcing via sites such as Fiverr.

 6.      REMOTE WORKERS ARE ON THE RISE

Employees and employers both get something out of remote work, though the overall benefit hasn’t been proven. Remote workers get benefit with increased job satisfaction, improved work-life balance. Employers need to buy fewer desks and expands the geographic area you can hire from, increasing the talent pool. Productivity is the number one challenge here and needs to be managed.

7.     INTEREST RATES REMAIN LOW

Banks are lending, but they are more selective about who they lend to. As a result, borrowing has become harder over the last year, for some. Smarter business owners will find opportunities to expand.