Small businesses continue to experience challenges to keep their heads above water in a time when they’re still competing with big corporations. While stories continue in the press about how small businesses have made a comeback in recent years, the only way to stay ahead is through technology. Regardless, it makes it difficult for a startup like yours to invest in expensive things just to stay competitive.
You still have a lot you can still invest in to advance and compete on the same level as big companies. The way forward on this is to look at current small business trends and see what’s happening.
This year, trends in this category continue falling under the technological, though not all. A few are merely practical applications you can expect will stay as evergreen trends.
1. Automation in Small Business
You’re seeing a lot of small business prognosticators say automation is one of the biggest trends of 2017 and beyond. If you still think automation means robots doing physical tasks, think again. Automation is mostly internal now and built into various management software.
A lot of internal automation also comes through cloud-based automation tools you can purchase at minimal cost. Apps like Zapier are a good example in being able to automate many tasks without investing in more labor to stay productive.
This eliminates doing mundane tasks so you have more time to focus on growth.
2. Fresher and More Innovative Marketing Content
Customers today want buying journeys, and the way forward is to give them creative marketing content. The trend pendulum swings in favor of more innovative content now and into the foreseeable future.
It doesn’t have to become expensive either if you have a creative in-house team. You can apply automation to your creative efforts, though it pays to make it personal. Creating personalized content is the key to true innovation, though so is mixing up media formats.
3. More Marketing Through Influencers
Perhaps you’ve thought marketing influencers were only something corporations could afford. Expect to see more of this in small businesses since the idea of what makes an influencer is different from what it was.
At the core of this is the new definition of what a celebrity influencer is. With more “celebrities” than ever, there aren’t enough big companies available for them to endorse. Anyone who brings in a loyal audience online is now deemed a potential celebrity brand advocate.
4. Using More Artificial Intelligence
No doubt you read plenty about artificial intelligence and what it’s doing for big companies. Don’t discount its use for your small business, because you’re seeing AI used in affordable app form. While it uses automation mentioned above, machine learning brings superior (and real-time) business analytics.
Clear metrics put you at an advantage in scoping out problems before they become bigger.
5. Engaging Customers Through Mobile
You may already format your marketing content for mobile device screens. Now customers want mobile marketing experiences, including interactivity. Small business mobile engagement is going to increase this year and into the coming decade.
It’s time to think of ways you can accomplish this, whether through live chats, or instantly accessible media. Many interactive mobile apps are available out there to employ without costing anything.
6. Increasing Competition
Differentiation was once something the big corporations had to focus on to stay competitive. Now with more small businesses thriving, you’re going to start seeing more competition in your field. It may occur in your own local region, giving you more incentive to differentiate your brand.
The question is, can you really differentiate enough? Your ultimate focus should always be on the customer, and you’ll already stand out in a more personalized way.
Visit us at ThinkSecureNet to find out about our technologies to help startup healthcare businesses like yours thrive.