Hail Social Media Skeptics
Remember the day when you thought social media was a passing trends for hipsters, not business owners?! Well, guess what. Social media is here to stay and will continue to propel consumer spending. Although it has yet to make an appearance in my newsfeed, Facebook and Twitter's new "buy" buttons allow small business owners to sell their product or service to their network without them needing to leave the platform. Say what?
Millennials, Let's Be Friends!
According to the Miami Herald, your clients' will influence their friends' wallet...especially if your clients happen to be millennials. According to Harris Interactive poll, 68 percent of millennials are somewhat likely to purchase after seeing a friend's post about a product or service. Baby boomers, its time to play nice with millennials.
Calling All Thought Leaders
In case you haven't heard, Linkedin purchased Pulse, "the news app tailored to you", earlier this year. Accordingly, Linkedin continues to dominate the business environment with curated content on every topic imaginable by any innovative entrepreneur. Word on the street has it that publishing on Linkedin will become more popular...that is, if Linkedin again opens the pearly gates to self-publishing. Let my people in!
2015 is the Time for Growth
According to the CAN Capital Small Business Health Index, 58 percent of small business owners expect growth in 2015. (Gee, hasn't that always been the goal of small business entrepreneurs - to grow their business?) What's most interesting is 38 percent of business owners polled will grow by expanding or trying new forms of marketing. Do you need to consider an inbound marketing strategy to grow your business this year?
Content Rules the Market
According to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the ability to create captivating, informative, customer-focused content for your potential clients to consume will become even more important in 2015. This ties in beautifully with Linkedin's expansion of their publishing capabilities. That's why you need to join our 30-day Blogging Challenge.
New Ways of Working
Cloud computing is on the rise and, as a result, is streamlining the way small business owners do business. (What? No more chiseling an invoice on a rock?!) Cloud automation tools add simplification to many business processes allowing us to rethink our workflows, save time and money and develop new, better, simpler ways of working.
What happens to the small business that fails to adapt to cloud computing and automation? Unfortunately, they are left behind as buyers flock to service providers that are agile and quick.
Data Replaces Crystal Ball
"Big data" is a term most small business owners skip over in business journals. Without the "big budget" to gather the "big data," why bother wasting brain cells on the information.
As it is with anything, over time "big anything" becomes available at a price much more fitting for the small business budget. Small business can now be as smart and strategic as big business as we turn data into appropriate action.
Entrepreneur.com put it best -- "Every decision you make as an entrepreneur is infinitely more perilous than a larger organization that has the resources to easily make mistakes and course correct. By understanding how to intelligently apply the data you're collecting, you can make those decisions more confidently."
All in all, it looks like another exciting year awaits us -- especially if we're willing to pivot and adapt to these prevalent developments.
This certainly is not an all-inclusive list of influencers of growth for the New Year. What would you add to these trends?
This article first appeared on Synnovatia.