Another year is on the verge of end, offering small businesses an opportunity to reflect on their past performance. The valleys, the peaks, the good, the bad – all the moments of the year will get evaluated. The year-end is also a chance for these businesses to plan for the upcoming year.
Interestingly, with this closure of 2018, some path-breaking business trends are also making their way to revamp the market for the next year. And as business operations do not happen in a vacuum, one should be aware of these trends.
Keeping up with the dynamics of the corporate world can help the entrepreneur in leading the company towards success. In this article, we have listed a few such trends that are ready to take 2019 by storm. Read on to know more.
IoT (Internet of Things), ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence)
The Internet of Things, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the strong pillars of a futuristic tomorrow. Incorporating them in business means better efficiency and greater success than before. However, not everyone can afford it. Small businesses might not yet be able to spend more money due to constraints on resources. However, they will start digging into systems, services and software that are using these technologies.
Entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses to the next level will have to invest in ML, AI and IOT. These technologies will help in automating repetitive tasks, enhancing customer service with the help of chatbots and improving the data processing capabilities of the enterprises. To scale up, they will also require an ample amount of initial funding for which they can apply for business loan.
Blockchain can sound too far-fetched for the majority of small businesses, but its adaption will be a no less than a driving factor for growth. Its need is bound to rise gradually in the small enterprise market due to its ability of:
- Eliminating the risk of theft of the customer’s data by the hackers
- Enhancing security and authentication with the help of smart contracts in the business agreements
- Verifying and tracking items in the supply chain sector from the point of origin to the point of delivery; which will improve efficiency by bringing transparency in the chain of ownership
Contrary to the common belief that only organisations with vast resources can afford and leverage cloud services; small businesses are adopting this technology rapidly. In the years to come, there will be a significant increase in the number of SMEs that will implement cloud services and its enabling technologies. This step will help them in reducing their expenditures, increasing scalability, improving collaborations, promoting agility and obtaining the best profits than before.
Along with the ease of providing services to the customers, the digitalisation of operations also brings security hazards with it. Therefore, it becomes crucial to safeguard customers’ privacy and business information from hackers. The SMEs will need to hire professionals to ensure their cybersecurity and implement data breach management systems for protection against theft.
Majority of SMEs rely on social media to market their products and services. However, there will be a significant progressive growth of cross-channel and integrated marketing in the coming time. SMEs will need to leverage services like blogs, broadcasts, teleseminars, videos and email marketing to increase their reach to potential customers.
Messenger Platform and Services
Messenger services and platforms like WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and WeChat, are scaling new heights of popularity in terms of customer engagement. These tools will become the next generation solution for SMEs to connect with their customers. Moreover, these tools are not only affordable but also help the businesses in closing deals with customers at a faster rate.
Nowadays, an increasing number of people like to engage in or watch live videos. This hardly cost anything – all one need is a smartphone and good internet connection to post live videos on social media sites.
In the coming years, there is no doubt that live videos will become an integral part of the digital marketing strategies of SMEs. Thus, if SMEs wish to engage with customers and establish their business credibility, they can utilize this trend and keep up with the market.
Economic Strategy to Adapt These Trends
While large organisations are rushing forward to adopt these technologies, SMEs still face a severe crunch when it comes to financing. This is where business loans come to the rescue. SME owners can take a business loan from any of the leading financial institutions to finance these new trends.
Some financial institutions like ABFL Direct provide collateral-free business loans to SMEs for a flexible tenure. By availing such loans, SMEs can fulfil the financial requirements to cope with trends which are making news today. This will not only help them in accomplishing their financial goals but also thrive against the leading giants in their sector.