Small Business Trends in 2018

The word “trendy” in itself has it’s own connotations that aren’t always good, but it’s worth keeping tabs on trends in general that seem to be working well for other small businesses. Even taking the “wait and see” approach, check out the latest trends in the small business world so far in 2018; maybe one of them will boost your business ahead of the rest! Thanks to Forbes.com for inspiring some of these tips.

  • Still embrace interaction over social media. While many groups may find each other online, it’s becoming more common to actually interact in person once identified. Remember to utilize social media, but not to rely on it completely. You are still going to need to practice social cues and tone down awkward interactions if you want to drive business.  Additionally, social learning (aka, in-person) has notably higher knowledge retention rate than remote learning in front of a computer screen. Keep that in mind for your next seminar enrollment!
  • Integration of Generation Z. Known as the first generation with readily accessible devices in-hand, Gen Z is radically different than Millennials (the oldest of which are now 35 and prominent in the work force). It’s soon to be seen how these two will interact, for better or worse. Stay tuned for studies and articles detailing how to keep Gen Z employees happy and effective members of the workplace.
  • Increased wages and drive for benefits. This is most expected for the fields of virtual reality, drone technology, and engineering, but many fields are seeking talented individuals who are in turn seeking higher wages and better benefits. Remember that health care costs are on the rise, so more businesses are increasing wages, as well as implementing better health plans to attract the associates to truly help their small business be successful.
  • Streaming Speeds Ahead. Numerous studies are showing that users would rather connect with a live person on a video chat (about 80%, as a matter-of-fact) than they would to read a blog or review social media posts. According to Forbes, “Companies who plan for and dedicate resources to live stream videos will dominate their industries.” So, if you have a brand that you can routinely log on to talk about live with viewers or connect on request for live video chat, it might just put you ahead (FAR ahead) of the game.
  • Personalized Customer Service. As one of those trends geared towards Gen Z, one thing they adore is feeling individualized and special. Taking the time to connect with consumers on a personal level is said to pay off ten fold. Lots of time and money might be spent on this approach by paying close attention to one-on-one feedback and other’s social media to create an individualized solution or product, but it’s a trend that experts say is likely to pay off in the long-run.

It’s important to remember that not all trends are guaranteed to be successful, and are simply just the suggested direction some businesses are going in, or seem to be working for them so far. But just as you noticed your neighbor’s well-fitted jeans that eventually became known as “classic,” some of these trends may be here to stay as well. Keep tabs on what’s changing, and be ready to adapt your small business if need be!

 

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