Small Business Trends For 2016

handshakeHigher Customer Expectations

Small business can expect customers to have much higher expectations. Customers now have access to an overabundance of online information about your business that you do not control, through such forms as reviews, ratings and comments. Good or bad these all have the potential to sway a customer’s buying decisions. Poor service or inferior products that do not do what they claimed are no longer able to be ignored. Customer satisfaction is and always will be paramount.

Emphasis On Cloud Based Computing

The trend towards Cloud based computing is becoming hugely popular for businesses, with lower overall IT staffing costs, no continuous upgrading of hardware and improved access just some of the many benefits. It is especially popular with small business due to the ability to expand or shrink as business needs change and only pay for what you use. However the loss of control of your data does present a cybersecurity concern, businesses always need to be vigilant with cybersecurity in anticipation of cyberattacks.

Increased Focus On Mobile Friendly Interaction

The increasing influence of Generation Y or Millennials, who have grown up with access to fast, reliable internet and have a socially networked world at their fingertips via mobile devices, is driving the need for not just an efficient but exceptional mobile friendly experience. More and more buying decisions are made on the spot, anywhere, anytime on mobile devices, small business failing to adapt and focus on this market will be left behind.

Underestimating The Human Connection

Even though we all love that technology makes our lives easier, replacing the human factor with technology can backfire. It is important for small business to maintain the human connection and show customers that their presence is valued. This encourages repeat business, good referrals and brand loyalty. People still like to deal with actual people; after all if there is no “personal touch” it often makes it harder for the customer to distinguish any quantifiable differences between similar products or services. It is vital in order to compete in such a diverse online marketplace for small business to grasp any possible edge over their competitors.