We are almost close to the end of 2018. There are new trends expected to emerge next year for small businesses. However, there are ten trends which are still going strong and expected to strengthen their foothold further in 2019.
Let’s take a look at these trends so that you don’t miss out on them.
1. Cloud Services
Unlike the common myth that only large enterprises can leverage and afford cloud services, the small businesses are adopting this model quite swiftly. An increasing number of SMEs will implement cloud computing enables technologies to reduce their capital expenditure and operating expenditure and ride on Digital India wave.
2.Spending by Millennials
According to a joint report by Deloitte India and Retailers Association of India, millennials are set to redefine the consumption story. They have high disposable income, are digital-savvy and are spoiled for choices. This will require all SME businesses to design an innovative social media strategy to engage the millennials.
Small business financing is picking up momentum because of the rapid growth of SMEs. Due to drawbacks of traditional sources such as banks, online small business loans are gaining popularity. Hence, capital borrowing from digital lending platforms will soar. The online SME loan is easy to apply and disbursal is very fast because the entire process is driven by technology.
4. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things
While small businesses may not spend much on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) due to resource constraints, they will start digging into software, systems and services using these technologies. Small businesses which want to scale their business to the next level will invest in AI, ML and IoT and would not even mind availing SME business loan for initial funding.
5. Cyber Security
Along with ease of doing business and offering ease of transacting to customers, digital operations also bring along security hazards. It will become crucial to safeguard business information and customer privacy. SMEs will look into hiring cybersecurity professionals or implementing data breach management software.
Blockchain may sound too far-fetched for small businesses, but its adoption is bound to rise gradually owing to the following reasons:
- Offer enhanced security and authentication via smart contracts in business agreements.
- Verify and track items in the supply chain from the point of origin to delivery – this will improve efficiency and bring transparency in the chain of ownership.
- Eliminate the risk of theft of customer data by hackers.
7. Live Videos
Did you know that people spend 3x more time watching Facebook live videos as compared to videos that are no longer live? Live videos hardly cost anything – all you need is a smartphone, an internet connection and a Facebook account. An increasing number of SMEs are connecting to their customers and audience via live videos to engage with them and establish business credibility. Going forward, live videos would be an integral component of SME digital marketing strategy.
8. Messenger Services and Platforms
Messenger services and platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and WeChat will become popular customer engagement tools for SMEs. They are not only affordable but also help SMEs to reach out to the customer, promote business and close the deals faster.
9. Cross-Channel Marketing
Most SMEs rely on social media to market their business and increase their brand visibility. However, there will be a progressive shift towards integrated or cross-channel marketing. SMEs will be leveraging email marketing, direct mail, blogs, print ads, websites, broadcast media, videos, teleseminars, webinars and more to increase their reach.
10. Remote Workplaces
Small businesses are always short of cash reserves. But, when they need to grow their team, it adds to their cost in terms of workstations, devices and salaries. However, most SMEs are now shifting to a flexible work culture whereby they are hiring remote workforces and using technology and collaboration tools to manage them.
Keep a watch on these business trends so that you can stay ahead of the competition!