10 Jan Small Business Trends of 2017
There’s no end to the constant development of what’s cool and what’s not, whether we’re looking at fashion trends, technology, lifestyle or business. Some trends come and go without leaving any significant impact, others we heard about in 2010 and they are still here, and maybe here to stay for years to come. Either way, for a business owner it’s good to go through the most significant predictions for each year, so that their business is ready for all the new (and old) challenges.
To make your life easier, which is one of our greatest goals, we’ve done the research for you, and these are the results: the top small business trend forecasts for the New Year.
Utilizing the millennial workforce
Modern companies have come to realize that millennials as the biggest living generation offer a huge potential with their rule-breaking and liberating approach. Finding out what the young person’s specific needs are and adjusting the offer is top priority, especially in 2017 when even more of them will be entering the job market.
And as a small business owner you’re in an advantage, because millennials prefer working for businesses with under 100 employees that offer a sufficient work-life balance, as stated by PRWEB’s 2017 research on the state of a gen Y worker.
Remote hiring and freelancers
Training and hiring remote employees and embracing the concept of freelance work is another trend that will continue to blossom in 2017. Many jobs, such as customer service, programming, graphic design, or copywriting can usually be done without a mandatory open space nine to five session. And this freedom and flexibility is exactly what the new worker is after.
Video conferences, cloud sharing and easy online cooperation and communication tools are enabling businesses to hire the best talents anywhere on the planet.
Building tools for non-techs
Designing your own logo, building your own website or creating a mobile app for your business is no longer a question of hiring a specialist to do it for you. Although a certain amount of expertise is still recommended (I realize that a seasoned webmaster will do a much better job than I ever will), there are many opportunities to learn and do things yourself, if you’re feeling up to the task.
And it’s nowhere near the challenge it used to be, even a couple of years ago. Accessible tools like Google Web Designer, WordPress or Mobirise make it possible for you to build your own website from scratch. Who would have dreamt of that five years ago?
Software revolution (digitalization)
We’re holding tools that allow quick and deep data analysis; social media is changing the way we communicate, advertise and sell; mobile devices have become complete game changers in how people approach work and business, because they have brought the world to our fingertips 24/7; and thanks to the cloud we can access the project our colleagues in Singapore finished overnight, in seconds. The development is so fast that keeping up with it is becoming a true challenge, yet if you manage, you’re creating significant space between yourself and your competitors.
It is no more solely a platform for crocheted hats and unknown rock bands — crowdfunding is earning its place in the sun as a solid tool for innovative market research and product validation.
According to crowdfunding and marketing expert Clay Herbert, “Smart companies are using crowdfunding to not only raise capital, but to validate products before making substantial investments in product development.”
Smith&Bradley, Ltd., a U.S.-based tactical watch manufacturer has launched seven Kickstarter campaigns to validate new designs for their line of watches. Five of the campaigns received market validation. The other two didn’t make the cut.
From watches to washing machines, using crowdfunding for product validation allows any company to engage and learn from a small and passionate user community earlier in the process, speeding up time to market, and reducing both the cost and risk of new product innovation.
As Hebert often reminds companies and startups, “The best focus group in the world is the market itself.”
If you haven’t done it already, now is the time to switch to credit card chip payment. Not only does the chip offer more safety than the magnetic stripe by creating a unique transaction code that makes fraud practically impossible, but it also supports various mobile transactions and works even in offline mode. These features make it perfect for businesses in various locations and circumstances. Protect yourself and your customers and switch to EMV ASAP.
2017 will be the year of the prepared. Get to it now, and it will be your year as well.