What’s Ahead For 2016?
If you had to define the upcoming year with one word, the word ‘change’ would probably be your best choice. As 2016 seemingly promises to be full of new trends, discoveries and processes that will impact not only the way that we do business with individuals and organisations, but that will also impact the reason why we do business with others. The following are the top three trends whose potential impact every small business owner should include in their plans and strategies for the upcoming year.
Look for a Greater Emphasis on Connections and the Elusive “Human Touch”
As our reliance on technology increases small businesses that have the ability to connect with others on a personal level and offer personalised services will prosper. To grow, businesses will need to focus on building real relationships with their customers. In 2016, customers want to know that not only is their business appreciated, but they also wish to know that their purchases go to support businesses whose owners and staff support and share their outlook, philosophy and goals. So look for greater demand by customers for businesses that build their brand around social justice issues. Companies whose policies and practices support matters such as fair trade, green and ecologically friendly materials and processes, civil rights, greater equality and diversity and so forth will benefit from this trend.
Growing Need for Greater Data Security
As more businesses of all sizes turn to cloud computing, mobile apps and social media to connect with customers as well as conduct and manage their business operations, a lack of cyber security will become the greatest threat to the survival of even small businesses.
In 2016, it’s imperative that businesses of all sizes take the threat presented by data breaches seriously and take steps to increase their security; not only to protect financial information, such as credit card numbers but to also protect demographic and other strategic information that could be used to eliminate your edge against your competitors.
Mobile is More Than Just an Afterthought
2016 is the year that mobile beacons will be rolling out everywhere, providing small businesses the ability to reach out to mobile customers with targeted promotions and start conversations as soon as they are in the range of the beacon. Therefore mobile needs to be more than just an afterthought when it comes to your site design, ad and social media campaigns, CRM and other analytics, SEO and other marketing strategies. Be on the lookout for new emotions based technology that will help businesses of all sizes to be able to gauge the excitement that their customers feel towards particular ads, products and more. Small companies that refuse to adapt to and adopt these new technologies, especially new payment applications, will go the way of every system that has ever refused to adapt to change by using new ways of doing things – they will simply fade away into extinction.
2016 promises to be an exciting year full of change. Are you ready to face these new challenges? Why not share in the comments section below how you plan to use these trends to make 2016 your business’s most successful year yet?