Top 2017 Trends To Make Your Small Business Competitive

by Lauren Schneidewind on January 2, 2017

The start of a new year is an opportune time to revise your small business strategy. What do you need to improve to perform better? You already know that if you want to be competitive, it’s vital to stay on top of shifting trends. How do you do that? Follow these easy steps:

Set new goals

The start of a new year is inspiring! It’s the perfect time to set new goals for your business. Goals can be big or small, short-term or long-term. No matter what they are, you’ll experience better growth by setting goals.

Make a new plan

Your small business can benefit from creating a marketing plan and following it. Make daily, weekly, and monthly schedules and adhere to them.  Doing so will help you measure success, identify areas of improvement, and notice new opportunities.

Take advantage of new opportunities

Pay attention to both your new and returning customers. Create tempting offers to attract more customers to your small business. Engage the existing ones with a loyalty program.

According to experts, trends to watch for in 2017 include:
- video consumption
- mobile-centered marketing
- social media content
- e-commerce interaction
- personalized marketing
- better shipping options

Additionally, it’s absolutely necessary to turn your eyes upon the new generation of consumers – the Millennials and Generation Z. Their influence is rapidly growing.

Here’s a review of the trends to stay on top of in 2017:

Trend 1: Generations Y and Z Rule

Generation Y (also known as the Millennials - people reaching young adulthood around the year 2000) and Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials or the iGeneration) like to support or to establish small businesses, whose work is meaningful and beneficial for society. This group is well informed, socially responsible and strongly driven by ethics.

Trend 2: E-commerce Is On The Upswing

More and more consumers prefer to make secure purchases of goods and services using their smartphones, mobile devices, and tablets. E-commerce is a continually developing sphere, thanks to new technology, improved logistics, and amazing new products to offer.

Trend 3: The Year Of The Video

If you’re not sure about using video, keep in mind that, for example, Facebook users watch around 100 million hours of video every day! Small business owners may consider using it for quick, informative communication with their customers. Engage your audience and turn them into real clients with quality, relevant videos.

Trend 4: Social Media Engagement Using Content

Recently, it has been the likes and page views that determine how successful your online marketing is. Now, the emphasis will be on quality content and its ability to create engagement. Make sure to develop relevant content that not only informs but also inspires and entertains your audience.

Trend 5. Benefit From Cloud-Based Solutions

Take advantage of Internet solutions administered to users via cloud computing providers. Small businesses of any type can experience increased security and reliability for their important files. Moreover, these files are accessible any time they need them, from any location. Additionally, cloud-based solutions enable teams to collaborate, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.

Trend 6: Personalization Through Data-Driven Marketing

Companies like Starbucks owe their progress to the data they collect and analyze to target their customers better. It’s not just big business. 82% of marketers confess that using data is vital to the success of their campaigns. Small business marketers can remain competitive by using data to offer personalized products, discover new opportunities, improve customer support, and much more.

Trend 7. Embrace BYOD In The Office

Don’t be afraid to introduce BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to your small company. Think of the enormous hardware cost savings, as well as the professional culture of collaboration and engagement that will be established among your employees. To achieve that, increase the security of your company wireless network and emphasize the personal responsibility of each staff member.

Trend 8. Move To The Subscription-based Model

Provide subscription services, combined with automated payments for both new and existing customers. By doing so, you will be able to create more accurate budget forecasts and make better sales projections for your business.

Trend 9: Initiate Faster Shipping Options

Customers don’t like to wait long to receive the products they purchase. Their quick delivery expectations will challenge small business owners to find ways to offer faster shipping. Companies that manage to achieve this will have happy customers who return for more purchases.

Consider these trends that will influence small businesses in 2017 and take advantage of new opportunities. Be open-minded and creative to apply them in a variety of ways. What else? Review your business model and make it as simple and efficient as possible. Efficiency is always trendy!

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