As a small business owner, it is important to keep up on the latest trends in order to keep up with the competition, and not fall behind with your customers. As technology rapidly advances, 2014 will likely be a year of exciting changes and developments in the world of business. If you’re a small business owner looking for ways to streamline your business, attract more customers, or better serve your existing customers, read ahead for a peek into some of the up and coming trends of 2014.
While smartphones have been around for a while now, their use as shopping and purchasing tools is only now reaching its full potential. Companies need to keep mobile marketing in mind by making sure they have a website that is navigable via cellphone and by offering mobile capabilities on any e-commerce features of their websites. Where this used to be a nice option for companies who could afford it, having mobile apps and mobile marketing capabilities for your business will be an absolute must as the year goes on.
Availability of Technologies
Cutting edge technologies that were previously only available to larger companies are likely to become available on an increasingly small scale in 2014. This is good news for small businesses looking to take advantage of technologies that may have previously been too expensive for or not well adapted to their size. As mentioned above, as technology continues to advance, it becomes more affordable and readily available to the “regular Joe.” If you haven’t begun implementing technology into your business plans, 2014 is the year to update your systems and get with the program. Using tablets and smartphones as cash registers, or scheduling software are simple ways to use technology to make your job easier—and it will help make your business more user-friendly. Using the available technologies will help you in keeping up with the competition and keeping customers happy.
Outsourcing and Increasing Specialization
Outsourcing has long been a business trend with immense potential, and the Internet drastically facilitates the practice of outsourcing tasks to those more specialized and well suited for them. Businesses can benefit by being better able to focus in on their major job tasks and optimize their operations by eliminating superfluous activities. In 2014, small business owners will look to outsource some of their daily tasks by using answering services and call centers to take care of customer service or scheduling. They will also seek professional help by outsourcing their marketing and SEO to specialized companies who can really do it right. If you’ve been doing everything for your small business all on your own, as the company grows you might find yourself in a position financially to outsource some of your work in order to increase efficiency.
In 2013, content marketing received increasingly more attention. Now that the development of content marketing is well underway, it is more important than ever to offer quality content that will be genuinely useful to clients. Because Google is getting better and better at weeding out empty, spammy content, it’s important to vamp up one’s content marketing in 2014. You might not think that content marketing is applicable in your industry, but this practice is becoming so widespread, that you truly can make it work to your advantage no matter what industry you are in. Now is the time to learn more about content marketing and SEO if it is new to you. As a business owner, these are invaluable tools that will really help your business get ahead. Learn how to use them to your advantage so you don’t fall behind.
Clients nowadays are more demanding than ever on products or services, and they are beginning to seek out items that are custom tailored to their needs. Small businesses will have the most success when they succeed in convincing clients that their offerings are exactly what is needed. Offer a perfect fit for your clients’ unique needs, (whatever they may be) and you’ll be sure to attract the right type of attention. Customization can get pricey, but even offering specialized packages that offer a little customization for customers will really go a long way. Show that you have the customer in mind by making your product or service more adaptable, and you’ll attract more customers by giving people exactly what they want.
No matter what industry you operate in, these up and coming business trends could be extremely helpful for the growth and expansion of your business. In business, you won’t survive if you always stick with what you know, or stick to your old ways. You have to adapt to the changes of the world, and use the advancement of technology to your advantage. If you embrace these new trends, you’ll have a better chance of keeping up with other businesses in your realm, and keeping customers satisfied and coming back.
Author: Dixie Somers writes for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters who are the inspiration for her writing. In 2014, small business owners will look to outsource some of their daily tasks by using answering services like the Tel-Us Call Center who take care of calls and scheduling for you.
Published: March 13, 2014