The country has its first new president since 2009. Most members of the graduating class of 2017 don’t remember Blockbuster or what an away message is or how valuable life advice from Mr. Feeny could be.
But one thing holds true despite age, race, gender or political preference.
Small business is a way of the future.
A recent study by Forbes reports that more than 50 percent of the working population works in a small business. Small businesses have generated more than 65 percent of the new jobs generated since 1995, the study reports, and about 543,000 new businesses start every month.
Meanwhile, the tide of business is changing rapidly. So what can small businesses do to stay ahead of the trends? Business News Daily put together a list of 40 trends every small business should consider in 2017.
Here are a few of the highlights:
The Millennial factor: Research shows that more millennials will enter management and leadership roles in 2017, in addition to representing the largest segment of the population, so understanding their personalities and knowing what that means for your business will be a crucial factor this year. “They are poised to take on management positions as more than 3.6 million company chiefs retire,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com. “They are revitalizing the traditional workplace formula with freelance jobs worked from a remote office.”
The virtual workforce: An article by Entrepreneur supports the value of using virtual assistants to help with things like accounting, web presence and administration in a post that offers advice on how to triple the efficiency of your business. A new virtual workforce has emerged whether we like it or not. What that means for the average small business owner might seem overwhelming at first sight, but it shouldn’t. The virtual workforce is enabling businesses of any size with the tools they need to be both successful and efficient.
The sales experience: Whether you’re an employee or a client, the same principles apply. The golden rule has never been more important than it is in the sales realm today, where businesses who emphasize a positive experience for everyone involved are more likely to succeed. That’s why it is that much more crucial particularly for small businesses to focus on growth and development opportunities for existing staff before looking outside for new hires. In sync with that will be an emphasis on the customer experience to build brand recognition and customer loyalty.
The technology. In connection with the renewed focus on customer experience, a commitment to keeping up with the evolving demands of technological advancement will remain a priority for small businesses in 2017. That means not integrating the best online and mobile apps for helping make any business more efficient, but also thinking outside the box a bit to welcome some new ideas. “Consumer-driven technology preferences will continue to drive business decisions in 2017,” said Steven Fredette, president and co-founder of Toast. “Adopting cloud, mobile and SaaS technologies will officially become a sink-or-swim necessity for businesses of all sizes in 2017, even for businesses that have yet to fully adopt modern technology.”
The social media marketing. Anyone who’s anyone in the small business realm has a web presence these days. Choosing the right apps and tools for your business is a crucial first step, but having a solid plan in place for what’s next is also important. Leveraging the best of what you have to offer is key in this fast-paced world where people are more curious about what’s trending than what’s on the local news at 5 p.m. That’s why having a social media marketing plan will benefit your business in 2017 more than ever. “Reaching users the old-fashioned way on social media is no longer going to make the cut (this year because) algorithms are increasingly limiting the percentage of your own audience that sees your posts,” said Hootsuite Founder and CEO Ryan Holmes. “In 2017, businesses should start investing a portion of their marketing budgets into native adds and promoted posts to successfully reach audiences.”
To be honest, the to-do list can seem endless as a small business owner. And it can feel overwhelming. And it can appear impossible for any one small business owner to do on their own. That’s why 2017 can (and should) be a landmark year for you and your business.
Among the best things you can do for your business this year is remember time for you. Prioritize work-life balance. Get your free time back. All of this is possible when you consider asking for help where you need it. Resources like Cloud Friday can help assist with that accounting project you’re behind on or that social media marketing campaign.
In this day and age where movies like “She’s All That” and “Never Been Kissed” are as old as the Millennials stepping into management positions, continuity is possible. Consistency is key amid the changing tides. And finding it is as easy as one click.