2020 so far has been full of uncertainties. A lot of businesses have had to adapt to changes or else will fall behind the curve. There is no doubt that things have not been easy with small businesses but in order to stay in business, a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners have had to embrace changes.
An old saying goes “Things don’t go on forever, and the quicker you accept that change is inevitable, the happier you’re gonna be.” Trey Anastasio
We have a whole new set of business trends emerging and small businesses can take advantage of these trends and come out stronger than ever.
Here are 10 small business trends that will help you stay ahead of the game.
- Purpose-driven companies will take the front stage
- Remote work is the new normal
- Small businesses will invest more in Digital Marketing
- User reviews will be king
- Emphasis on personalized Customer Service
1. Purpose Driven Companies will take the front stage.
Purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving the higher workforce and customer satisfaction.
Much like what a foundation is to a house, a conductor is to an orchestra, and canvas is to an artist’s masterpiece—a clear purpose is everything to an organization. It is an organization’s soul and identity, providing both a platform to build upon and a mirror to reflect its existence in the world. It articulates why an organization exists, what problems it is here to solve, and who it wants to be to each human it touches through its work. While it’s not the first time in history businesses are pondering why they exist and who they are to their customers, the current trend shows that businesses are using purpose to create deeper connections with consumers, do more for the communities with which they work, attract and retain talent, and in the process, are achieving greater results and impact.
Not every organization views purpose as an all-encompassing ideal. Some consider it merely a tool to advertise who they are and what they stand for to capture more market share. Others believe selling quality products at the lowest price point is the only thing that matters to consumers. While we acknowledge instances of successful companies in the market aligned with this thinking, our research shows that what separates purpose-driven businesses from the rest are longevity and authenticity. Companies that lead with purpose and build around it can achieve continued loyalty, consistency, and relevance in the lives of consumers. Those that fail to identify and articulate their purpose may survive in the short term, but over time, people are likely to demand more. (Deloitte Insights)
A purpose-driven company aims to leave an enduring impact on people’s lives so ask yourself, how does your company want to impact lives? For us, at Glade, we envision a world where African Enterprises will have seamless Digital Transactions to grow beyond borders, and this is embedded in every action we take.
2. Remote work is the new Normal!
With social distancing becoming the norm, remote working has become one of the top trends in 2020.
The traditional way of waking up in the morning and rushing to an office is slowly fading away into the past. This does not totally mean that in the future, there won’t be workers at offices, it only means that these days, with companies asking workers to do their jobs from home, in the future, we would have more people working remotely than at offices. With laptops and smartphones, video conferencing, and team messaging, technology has made remote work easier than ever. This also allows small businesses to hire the best talent from across the globe.
Remote work has multiple business benefits as well, infrastructure and space can be a big constraint for small businesses, real estate is not cheap but growth is important and small businesses cannot afford to be left behind because of this, with remote working, this problem is instantly solved.
This is a fast emerging small business trend, even companies who earlier did not have a remote work policy are now forced to operate remotely and use online collaboration tools like Google Meet, Miro, Zoom, Slack, etc. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect businesses and employees to prefer remote work owing to its benefits.
3. Small businesses will invest more in Digital Marketing
With more people staying at home we have currently over 4.57 Billion people as active users of the internet which makes Digital Marketing a major trend in 2020 and the future ahead and with the help of a lot of Digital Marketing tools available and with the right strategy, you can never go wrong.
These times will give rise to more shoppings on Social Media, more E-Commerce sites check out our Quick Commerce store, wide use of Digital Banks for Transactional or Business purposes see Glade Digital Bank App, the first Digital Bank for Small Businesses in Africa, Online Food Stores if you sell food like Naijaeats, MHQstores, Gingerbox etc.
But before you delve into the use of Digital Marketing to advertise your business, do you have a Social Media Presence? It has been discovered by research that when a person sees a product online that he/she might be interested in, they go as far as checking for that brand on Social Media, to be sure that the company is legit.
Build your Social Media Presence, then you can now use Digital Marketing to get leads or drive traffic to your business.
4. User Reviews will be King!
These days, consumers evaluate products and services based on impressions and feedback from other like-minded consumers, the brand provided information is no longer enough.
Reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can strengthen a company’s credibility. Reviews have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage people to interact with the company. Customer interaction ultimately leads to improved profits for businesses.
The PowerReviews study reveals insights into consumer behavior, their shopping habits, and how they rely on authentic user-generated content. Key findings include:
- 97 percent of consumers consult product reviews while 85 percent of consumers seek out negative reviews before making a purchase.
- Over one-third of shoppers won’t purchase products in a brick-and-mortar store without first consulting reviews.
- Today, 50 percent of consumers write reviews for products they’ve purchased, an increase from 42 percent in 2014.
- The majority of consumers read between one and 10 reviews before making a purchase.
With all these said also be aware that having a mixture of positive and negative reviews appears to be important as it demonstrates to potential customers that the reviews are authentic. According to Speigel Research Centre’s 2017 Power Reviews Research, more than 80% of shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews, believing they show the company’s credibility; if a business has nothing but excellent reviews, it tends to lead to suspicion.
5. Emphasis on personalized Customer Service
“Customer experience is the next competitive battleground. It’s where a business is going to be won or lost.” –
Personalized customer service refers to delivering customized services that cater to the exact needs and wants of the customer. This way, a customer can feel more connected to your company. Also, because the customers receive tailor-made solutions to their problems, it leaves them with a sense of satisfaction. Therefore, every business nowadays is looking forward to providing personalized customer care services to their customers/potential customers.
Imagine a situation where a customer reaches you on Instagram, or Twitter trying to make an enquiry about a product you sell and you immediately redirect this customer to a website for more information or you send a reply days later, some people may not mind but more often than not, they go-ahead to search for that same product from another seller. So you practically paved the way for your competitors, or let’s say this person already uses your product, but the thing is when this customer is having trouble with your product and reaches you for assistance, they usually end up getting more frustrated.
You should understand that Organizations need to keep their customers happy and satisfied so you can keep them coming back.
Here are 4 facts on Keeping your customers happy
1. It costs 5x as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. (Source: seohosting.com)
2. 68% leave brands because they are upset with the treatment they’ve received. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration)
3. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
4. 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more others. (Source: Harvard Business Review)
Keeping your customers happy is more than continuing to receive their money, it also helps you improve your company to make them even happier — and in turn, they’re happy to spend more money.
It’s a win-win.
Comment down below if you have a business trend that was not listed here, or you have another perspective, drop it in the comment section.