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” – Huffingtonpost.com.
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