As a small business owner, you have both challenges and opportunities to grow and stay competitive. To boost your business, meet your revenue goals and improve customer satisfaction, you have to stay apprised of emerging trends. And considering how swiftly things can change, you could be left behind.
Your business is unique, and you can’t follow every trend out there. Try something new if it makes sense for your business.
As you consider small business trends, don’t forget that keeping apprised of trends is an ongoing effort. This includes monitoring your business, observing the competition, networking, reading about trends, staying connected to your customers, and following industry leaders. Here are some of the small business trends identified for 2023:
You probably think of user reviews in the context of online purchases only. But user reviews are important for many types of other businesses, too. People who read positive reviews are much more likely to patronize your business. And there is no cost if you ask satisfied customers to provide a Google user review.
A strong online presence is vital in today’s marketplace. At the very least, you need an updated website that can be viewed on a desktop and a mobile phone. If viable for your products or service offerings, include an e-commerce option. Make sure your contact information and address are accurate. In other words, make it as easy as possible for them to find you – and buy from you.
Research has found that 77% of small businesses use social media to promote sales, marketing, and customer service. Small businesses should consider using this to their advantage by identifying what platforms their target audiences use. Research ways to help make your small business get views on popular platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. Social media accounts such as these are free platforms for you to highlight your business and what it offers. You can do product tutorials or short videos that answer customer questions.
As a small business, inflation is hitting you hard, and there is no one solution to dealing with it. Raising prices and or negotiating better deals with suppliers are two steps to consider. The balancing act is to keep customers while raising prices. Customers are smart, be honest with them about what is happening and that you value their business. They may still be unhappy about the increase in prices, but will appreciate you being straightforward with them.
More consumers want to support environmentally conscious and ethical companies with sustainable business practices. Even small changes to your business practices that you can advertise can make a big difference in perception. Some ideas include using LED lighting, recycling, and upgrading to more energy-efficient electronics. Get your business recognized by sponsoring a local charity event that enhances the livability of your community, such as a group creating green spaces.
Alternative payment options such as contactless credit card payments, mobile payments, and mobile wallets are here to stay. Updating your payment options is good business. Your POS or e-commerce platform (such as Shopify) has ways to enable alternate payment methods for you.
Job growth remains strong, and potential employees have choices. Filling an empty role is expensive, so retaining good employees is critical. Employees value a robust onboarding process, open and clear communication, flexible work schedules, the potential for advancement, and employee recognition. As a small business, it can be difficult to provide some of these options, but recognizing employees properly for their hard work and dedication doesn’t have to cost you anything.
Being resilient means adapting to changing marketing trends. Current trends point to short-form videos, Youtube ads, and emails as effective marketing strategies. Even using blog content for SEO continues to be popular.
It has been a tough couple of years for almost everyone. People crave personalized and considerate customer service. Key characteristics of good customer service include resolving customer complaints promptly, attending to customer feedback, building rapport, being honest, and training your employees the way you expect them to treat your customers. You can’t afford to alienate your customer base.
Many customers are well aware of how the pandemic affected small businesses and made an effort to support their local businesses. To capitalize on this trend, small business owners should adopt a local marketing strategy and boost their social media presence. And don’t forget to let people know that you are a small business – and that you appreciate their support.
The resiliency of your small business in a fluctuating market depends on being adaptable, flexible, creative, and positive. Following and incorporating new trends that make sense for your business can help support your plans to grow your business and withstand any future economic threats.