The Internet has turned local markets into global ones. Globalization and eCommerce have made competition harder but, at the same time, opened broader and newer markets for everyone. Now even small retailers can reach customers on the other side of the globe, but must also contend with rivals spread across continents. Hence, it is critical that you keep your finger on the pulse of changes happening around you.
I recently put together a list of some critical trends that EVERY small company must invest in. Now depending on your particular industry and business, you can decide how much investment you want to expand on each of them – but one thing is certain; you can’t ignore any of them.
Personalized Customer service: Customers have come to expect and demand faster services and tailored solutions. They expect more than just a straightforward buy and sell arrangement, they want to know the business and be a part of its journey. They want to feel a connection. To create this intimacy, many businesses will have to implement some sort of solution that shows special love to their customers. This could either be excellent in-store customer service, focused ad campaigns, or hyper-personalized products – depending on your industry, you will have to come up with innovative ways to connect meaningfully with your target audience.
New digital media: Digital marketing has become more competitive in the last year or two. The field is getting increasingly crowded, and budgets must expand to get results. Also, 2020 sees some drastic changes – voice search is growing by leaps and bounds and is all set to be the next big disruptor; content marketing, albeit with video as big part of it, is going to take the lead in maintaining online brand reputations and organic traffic is losing steam. There are too many people putting out great social media content, you have to put in the money to get traction in the market.
In short, find new channels or put in more money.
Online reviews become even more critical: For many small businesses, especially the ones in retail, food, or entertainment industries, online reviews are now even more important than before. To make a 100% positive customer experience, in reality, you have to invest in online reputation management. Just like social media – trying to get organic reviews is an uphill task. You have to reach out proactively to customers, be exceptionally responsive and hire professionals to manage your online reputation.
Sustainability: The need of the hour is sustainability! It is critical for ALL businesses – regardless of size and industry – to go green. It is vital to the environment, and the customers demand it. There is a huge uptick in clients inquiring about the sustainability credentials of businesses, and they are now willing to pay extra and change brands to help the earth.
Cybersecurity: While small businesses – especially the ones with a location or store – are usually more worried about their physical security, but now it is time all of us start thinking about cybersecurity too. It is reported that 43% of cyber-attacks are focused on small businesses, and no industry is off limits! You are not too small or too offline to escape, and it is imperative to put some safeguards into place.
Now, clearly, the only thing stopping business owners from keeping up with these trends is MONEY. Here I suggest you follow my example! I wanted to implement measures to keep up with my industry trends and approached New York-based alternative lender –Cresthill Capital for a financing offer! It turned out to be a sound decision! I have no Cresthill Capital and recommend you try out alternative lending institutions too.