Top business trends for small businesses in 2018

When planning your business strategy for the year it’s important to affiliate your goals with current industry trends. Technological advances, hiring practices and marketing strategies, for example, will all have an effect on the ambitions you have for your company and how you go about achieving them. Have a look at these topical business trends as you rethink your strategy for the forthcoming year:

Micro-influencer marketing – Micro-influencers are influencers with less than 100K followers, who can actually be a more effective marketing tool for your small business (as opposed to macro-influencers) as they have a more attainable lifestyle, and are thus easier for your target audience to relate to. It might be worth reaching out to this type of influencer as a marketing partner in 2018?

Artificial Intelligence – AI is the next big thing, everyone’s talking about it. If predictions are correct – that by 2020 AI will be a top five investment priority – then it’s time to start strategising. As a small business owner, this could mean investing in data collection, integrating AI into your small business and training your team for AI.

Cashless payments – While cash is currently the most popular means of payment, mobile payment is on the rise (and checks on the decrease), with 56 per cent of customers likely to pay in this way by 2020. Your business can keep up to date by adopting mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Google Pay; also offering in-app, in-browser and person-to-person (P2P) payment platforms.

Outsourcing – A growing trend, outsourcing is particularly useful for small businesses, which can outsource work in areas that are beyond allocated expertise – a bookkeeper, accountant, marketing strategist or social media manager are all examples of some such skills that might thrive on a pay-as-you-go hiring initiative.

Hiring ‘Gen Z’ employees – Born after 1998, Gen Z is making its presence known in the workforce but unlike ‘needy’ Millennials, Gen Z is more likely to be motivated by a steady salary than the pursuit of happiness, and will adapt quickly to technological advances (more so than any other previous generation).

Employees working remotely – This has the potential to save your small business money, as a result of an increase in employee productivity and a decrease in employee turnover (as per resent research).

For more information on any of these topics as well as other business trends to watch out for this year, read “10 Small Business Trends to Watch Out for in 2018” –

Contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or if you have any energy queries relating to your home or business.

New combi boiler by Worcester

There is nothing worse than trying to fit a giant boiler into a miniscule space – especially if you’re relying on aesthetic appeal to sell a product or service, like a restaurant or hotel.

Commercial or industrial heating systems also have the penchant for hogging space, and thus encroach on employees’ ability to work efficiently. There’s nothing like moving around a restaurant kitchen whilst playing ‘dodge the boiler’ as you fry a cordon bleu steak.

With this in mind, Worcester has expanded its Greenstar range with the launch of a brand spanking new combi boiler.

Described as one of the smallest boilers on the market, Worcester’s Greenstar CDi Compact measures 690mm x 390mm x 280mm, and is available in outputs of 28kW, 32kW and 36kW. The boiler’s compact size means that there is greater scope for where it can be fitted – in the cupboard, behind the door (out of site out of mind!).

Of course it’s all good and well having a lovely boiler that fits the practical/aesthetic dimensions of a business but the real question is whether it will save money – is it energy-efficient? Worcester says it is!

The combi boiler aims to be high performance with low emissions, and also features a revolutionary ultra-compact heat exchanger, manufactured using cutting-edge technology adopted from the aerospace industry and the military. Said exchanger uses less than 1W of electricity when in standby mode; although that may seem like not such a big deal, the savings will accumulate over time.
It is recommended that the boiler be serviced on a yearly basis (to keep it in good working order) and there is even an optional setting ‘service reminder’ that will help you to remember to call the experts when maintenance is due.

Worcester is currently offering a great deal on the Greenstar CDi Compact; if you buy it before June 2013, it comes with a 5 year guarantee. Bonus!

If you own a small business and are interested in Worcester’s combi boiler, do not hesitate to contact the C H Systems team for more information on 0208 302 8149 or