Small businesses have never had it harder than today. The global market has opened up many opportunities, but not all of them benefit everyone. In particular, the big players now have the resources to spread easily, and reach even faraway territories. It’s near impossible to compete with them, when you take into consideration all of their advantages. However, small business owners are discovering more and more that new and emerging digital technologies can help them survive and find their place under the sun. Here are the 2017 trends to keep an eye on if you want your small business to increase its profits and have a standout year.
Copy successful enterprise practices
Just because you don’t have the big bucks, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t copy and exploit some of the practices that huge enterprises employ. After all, if they are so successful, they must be doing something right. If there’s one thing they excel at, it’s management. The fact that you don’t have hundreds of employees, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be organized. For instance, optimal software release management can ultimately transform your company’s release mechanisms into an infallible, well-oiled machine.
Optimize your web presence
A lot of small businesses make the fatal mistake of skipping web optimization. Long gone are the days when just having a website was enough. Today, in order to increase your visibility, you need carefully curated social media profiles, a web page that is constantly optimized for SEO, email marketing, and a good niche presence. Of course, all of these should be based on thoroughly researched targeting. However, all this doesn’t mean that you need to spend all of your time on online marketing, or spend a fortune on a team of digital marketers. While digital marketing certainly is a wise investment, try to minimize costs by exploring marketing automation.
Save on outsourcing
The internet is a beautiful thing: it has connected people all over the world and has made it incredibly easy to find anything you need – even an employee. The freelance market has been flourishing. Professionals from all over the world get hired to work remotely. This gives you the opportunity to find and hire an expert with the exact profile and skill set you need, probably for less money than you would normally pay. But that is not the only benefit. You will also save significant sums of money on office space. New trends in the freelancer market are showing that demand is growing steadily. Ride the wave and cash in.
Jump on the virtual reality or Internet of Things train
Virtual reality and Internet of Things are the two main technologies that are right on the cusp of entering every segment of our lives. The field is wide open, and it’s only up to the creativity of your team to come up with ways to exploit the endless possibilities and the adjacent buzz.
Keep your eye on the changing financial landscape
Getting money for your business from investors might be a tried and true method, but it has a definite downside: it makes you accountable and creates the obligation to satisfy your investors. In many cases, this reflects badly on the creativity and willingness to risk. Instead, embrace crowdsourcing as a valid financial model. Keep in mind that financial climate is shifting at the moment. Lack of stability is driving people towards Bitcoin. Embrace cryptocurrencies, but beware that digital payment technologies are under constant threat of hacking, and security is a top priority.
A lot of the times, it’s not enough to work hard: you have to work smart too. Of course, dedication is a must if you wish to succeed. However, innovativeness is also valuable, and keeping up with new trends might just be the thing that gives you the upper hand over your competitors and launches your business right next to the big players. Bear in mind that it’s always much easier to exploit new avenues when you have a small and flexible company. International giants are powerful, but they are slow to change their set ways. That is exactly what can give you an edge that might prove to be the key to your success.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with eleven years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.