4 Trends Impacting Small and Medium Businesses Right Now
By Alex Neil Posted Jun 09, 2016 in Social Media Marketing
If we look upon the past few years, we will realize that the world is changing rapidly. The influence of this rapid change can be seen in each single field of life. Cultural changes, social changes, economic changes etc. have affected the life of every person. Businesses have to follow a different approach today in order to respond towards these changes. Latest trends are taking over the place of traditional methods. The adaptation of these latest trends is the only way to survive in the changing economic environment.
If you are running small or medium businesses then you must be aware of the changing trends and their possible impact on the performance of the business. This awareness will lead you to the right strategic planning. Otherwise you may lose your competitive edge. Here I am going to discuss four top trends with you which have redefined and reshaped the approaches for small and medium sized businesses globally.
Technology has changed the whole world and it has greatly influenced the businesses as well. In traditional methods, printed media was high in demand and this source was used for the marketing of businesses as well. However today when you are living in the era of social media, it’s pretty hard just to rely on the printed media.
Currently, businesses use these platforms for marketing of their products and services. Moreover, some organizations actually take orders on these social websites which has developed a sense of convenience. In current business environment, you are required to maintain a healthy relationship with your customers using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter etc.
The trend of using social media has actually reduced the distance between business and customers. Customers can have a direct conversation with business officials which give customers a sense of ownership. However, in order to increase the customer satisfaction and loyalty business must ensure that customer’s queries are being properly answered and you (as a business) are giving weightage to their comments and feedbacks.
Traditionally businesses were run with the anticipation that the product or service will stay in demand. In other words, ‘push strategy’ was part of the strategic management of small and medium sized businesses. However now, businesses have shifted their focus towards ‘pull strategy’. With this new trend now businesses only produce the product or provide the service when a demand arises by the buyer. This trend has not only reduced the cost of inventory holding but it has also enabled businesses to communicate with the customers in a more positive way.
Another trend which is very common nowadays is that customized products are more in demand than the standard products. for example if you are in furniture manufacturing business, then a customer of modern age will not be happy to order the off the shelf products. Today customer is fully aware of his needs and he will be demanding furniture which can fulfill his needs.
The concept of customization is getting popular day by day. Small and medium sized businesses which are not able to cope with this latest trend are no more profitable or their profitability has drastically reduced. If you want to be competitive in market then you should allow yourself to adopt these trends otherwise you will no longer be able to run a successful business.
Change in on-premises technology:
In past businesses used on-premises IT-servers handling of which was costly as well as difficult. Lately, businesses have shifted their focus towards cloud based systems for storage, analysis, sharing and integration of their important data. This option has reduced the cost of business because now they no longer have to pay salaries to IT employees. Moreover, this option has enabled small and medium businesses to have access to the latest and upgraded technology all the time.
Another advantage of eliminating on-premises technology is that business can secure its confidential data using cloud based systems and the threat of data theft can be avoided because it is the priority of the service providers of cloud based to provide security to their customers.
Increased CSR and more scrutiny:
Today stakeholders are more aware about their rights and about the responsibility of a business towards its stakeholders and environment. This awareness has increased the scrutiny level of businesses of all sizes i.e. small, medium or large organizations. Stakeholders have become vocal and green consumers are very active.
This trend was less seen in past so there were less regulations for businesses about the corporate social responsibility. But in current economic environments, business gest penalized if they are subject to the disregard of any environmental or any corporate social law. Activities and actions of even small and medium sized entities have become transparent.
This trend has although increased the cost of SMBs but here one thing is important to mention that compliance of these laws and regulations increases the customer base. The reason behind that is people prefer those businesses which understand and fulfill their responsibilities towards environment and stakeholders.