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Follow the trends

When you operate a small business or are thinking of setting up one, it is important that you identify the key market trends that are happening within your specific industry. Following market trends will help your small business to develop and grow to be successful within its field. If you want to be one step ahead of your competitors, see what the market trends are each year and work out how you can build upon them to offer a product or service that is new and exciting to your customers.

By following trending topics on social media, through the news and through other online sources, you can also use the information that you find to enhance your advertising and capture the attention of not only your existing customers but also a larger audience of all demographics.

So what are the key trends that your small business needs to be aware of in 2019?

1.Sustainability

Sustainability in the business world has been an important movement for many years. But not as prolific as it is in 2019. From the little things such as recycling to persuading employees to cycle or walk to work if they can, every little sustainable change is benefiting the environment and in particular, climate change.

A great movement for businesses to follow, those who demonstrate how sustainable they have a higher chance of receiving high profits. A sustainable company is, understandably, incredibly enticing to customers – especially millennials who will tend to only purchase from green companies. Small businesses can implement these sustainable changes easier than a larger company as they won’t have to depend as heavily on energy. Sustainable businesses also spike the interest of potential employees and those who are currently working there.

2.Wellness At Work

Everyone likes a workplace that promotes their employee’s wellbeing. Work can be stressful sometimes, no matter what industry you are in, so you want your employees to feel at ease and comfortable when they are at work. Many people suffer from mental illness, high levels of stress and low motivation. But by promoting activities that will create a good work-life balance, your employees will want to come into work every day and it will ease a little of that stress off of their shoulders. Not only will a bad workplace convince your employees to quit (increasing employee turnover which can be incredibly damaging for a small business) and turn away potential candidates (yet again this could have disastrous effects), but it will also reflect badly on your profits – which are crucial for your business to operate successfully.

A great way of increasing wellness at work is by frequently promoting working from home and flexible working. This gives your employees a sense of freedom and say over where and when they can work. Incredibly popular in a variety of industries, it will result in your employees being happier with their work life and motivated to do well. By people working remotely more, it will also help the environment and encourage better communication between the employees.

You could also introduce fun and exciting incentives within the workplace – such as ping pong tables, a coffee machine, beer o'clock etc. The more humanized the business, the better your employees will perform and appreciate the business for what it is. No one wants to go into an office or work environment every day that’s dull, with no conversation or any relaxed elements – whether you are a tech company or a coffee shop. You need to show your staff how much you appreciate them and by doing so, your business will start (or continue) to thrive.

3.Improved Employee Communication

Following on from the above point, now more than ever small businesses are realizing that consistent communication is key to their success. As more and more people are starting to work remotely/working flexible hours, you will want to ensure that you are being transparent on what the work procedures are and what health and wellness benefit plans you are offering. Benefiting both those higher up and lower down on the business scale, by creating a handbook or system that informs them on everything they need to know will help them to meet federal labor law and state requirements.

4.Improving Your Business’s Cyber Security

The importance of investing heavily in cybersecurity this year is undeniable. For small businesses, without a strong cybersecurity structure, your business could fall apart within an instant. Many lawsuits and fines have been the result of high-profile data breaches and with the apparent ease to hack into personal accounts, you want to make sure that your business is protected and that your customers are protected.

In order to implement a stronger data structure, your small business may either have to outsource the work to a cybersecurity business or invest in in-house data security experts that will combat any threats that arise day to day. This, of course, depends on what industry you are in and how much profits you are making (it can be very expensive to outsource and hire new employees), but as many small businesses utilize technology in their everyday operation, you will want to know that you will be protected from any security issues that occur.

If you work within an office environment, you will have to inform your staff on how to keep any important documents hidden, that they should never bring these home with them and their desks clear so that the risk of a breach is reduced. If you are found with your desktop unlocked or any important information shown clearly on your desk, you could be heavily fined.

5.A Collaboration Between Small Businesses And Large Tech Corporations

With the ever-growing tech industry, if you are a small tech business it may seem daunting and difficult at times to keep up-to-date with technological developments, as well as finding ways to stand up to your much larger competitors. A key trend of this year is that large corporations are beginning to pair up with smaller business to ensure that both of them are continuing to stay successful and to understand how the developing technologies are implemented.

This not only has clear benefits for the large corporations, but it also benefits small businesses as they can develop their services and products whilst opening up new opportunities for them through working with an established partner.

Bonus trend - Personalization

It is clear that no matter what industry your small business is in, you are always trying to find ways to stand out from the crowd and entice customers. Personalization is a key trend in 2019 that will allow for your customers to feel more valued and feel as though the products or services are more bespoke to their personal requirements. By targeting your advertisements to them – whether that be through a simple method such as putting their name on an email or showing them products that they may be interested, it will give them a more rewarding shopping/purchasing experience. You can also personalize the products themselves, which has always been a popular selling point.

Conclusion

It is evident that this year, as with every year within the market there are a number of trends that small businesses should follow in order to stay up to date, for their customers to continue to purchase their product/service and for their employees to enjoy working there. Following market trends are especially crucial for start-up businesses that want to grow their business.


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