Experts Speak about 2018 Business Trends to Guide Small Businesses
The experts are putting forward their verdict of business trends and the how technology and marketing will benefit the small businesses this year.
The year 2018 is taking a curve and experts are predicting about the business trends and developments in the year. Being a small business owner you must know what’s in the business radar and plan the second half of 2K18.
The shift of IT
As Microsoft’s Chris Yamashita says IT is shifting from being a generic service provider and emerging more as a business partner. For tech solution spending, C suite is being a step ahead with hybrid security solutions that will offer on-premise and SaaS/Cloud solutions. As per a report released by Gartner, there is a major shift going on from the traditional sources into cloud computing and as per record says the investment of IT over cloud computing will reach up to $216 billion by 2020.
The sharing economy
Automation has led to easy access and optimum usage of the resource through shared economy but small business will get to reap the benefits out of it. Scholars are saying that sharing economy is the fourth Industrial Revolution that is going to bring a great deal of change in revenue generation. Economists like Andre McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson believes that this economy will disrupt the labor market to a great extent.
Experts say that the days of mass emailers generating sales is gone and if you want to influence the millennials then you need to go beyond the regular marketing through stock photos or just running generic campaigns. As per a report, people simply ignore the marketing mails and they seem to be bored with the banner ads all around. The market is oversaturated and thus personalized marketing is the only call of the time. A simple addition like adding the first name of the receiver in the e-mail retains the attention of the prospective customer.
Behavior-based data is an integral thing, to begin with personalized marketing. Understanding the entire circle of the user will help you decide the strategy to attract the potential customers. Web analytics software, content management systems and customer relationship management are used to bring in the personalization in marketing strategies.
To process big data and to make market predictions, AI merges into the marketing. With Artificial Intelligence, marketers are able to save a lot of time that went away earlier on repetitive actions as AI enables an easy conclusion by processing big data.
On the topic of social media advertising, Toby Danylchuk, the co-founder of 39 Celsius Web Marketing says, “While large companies jumped on the Facebook ad bandwagon some time ago, there is significant long-tail growth among SMBs which still have not embraced Facebook ads fully and the vast majority are not advertising there. The end result of that will be, Facebook will continue to accelerate the number of advertisers it has with SMBs and CPM and CPC costs will rise for all Facebook advertisers."
Just not Facebook, but there will be a close integration of social channels as experts believe that for small businesses cross-channel marketing will help them perform well if they wish to compete with the bigger brands.
Shift of banking models
Experts say that millennials are going a step ahead of trust over a particular bank. They are devoid of prejudices and ready to bank with any company they find profitable. The mobile banking has increased the account holders and there is a prediction that by 2020, the user count might be as high as 2 billion or more. In this scenario, the digital banking is overpassing the queue in banks and thus digital wallets are the future of banking. The mobile banking has also assured the speed. Mobile banking has given users the comfort with which they are able to access of their accounts online and that’s undoubtedly a quick process. Vernon Tirey, the co-founder and CEO of LeaseQ said that the banking industry wishes to cut off the middlemen who have been in between the bank and the customers. The industry now wishes to target the customers directly to gain credibility and assure a better transparency in the service.
But there are certain burns of mobile banking technology and this year, experts believe users will get the taste of it to some extent. Cyber attacks will relatively increase in number as hackers are all ready to utilize the opportunity of mobile or internet banking. Talking about hacking Christian Vezina, CISO at VASCO Data Security said, “…Anyone can go onto the dark web and start using available malware code, not to mention the readily available services such as hacking, malware- and ransomware-as-a-service…” and the fact only a decent knowledge of hacking will enable hackers to execute the cyber theft.
James Cassel, the co-founder and chairman of Cassel Salpeter investment banking firm believes that the economic situation is being good and stable right at this moment and two or three quarter-point interest rate hikes will not affect the economic situation. But he also mentions the impending trades and believes that there is uncertainty in tariffs which might bring a change.
With companies targeting more on productivity and focusing larger on cost-cutting, some experts believe that employees will get flex desk options. Workforce management is now evolved with various tools and technology where employees get to operate remotely without being at the office. Space productivity will thus increase and there will be a significant change in employee behaviors. Some experts also feel that it will reduce the work-related stress among employees and companies will be able to avoid a lot of real estate investments to build up a workforce.
Workplace policies will change focusing highly on taking strict measures on office harassments. The workplace ethics will develop as business communication specialist Rob Swystun says that there will be anti-sexual harassment training in offices and new policies will be implemented to curb the issues of harassments.
Going by the trends the blockchain technology and machine learning is also going to contribute a lot to the business growth. Small business needs to gear up to become a smart operator with the best data and models in the open marketplace.