As we analyze the biggest trends in business and technology in 2016, it’s evident that small businesses will continue to utilize some of the same marketing techniques as their larger counterparts. This is welcome news for smaller businesses that struggle with limited budget and resources, but still want to reach their target customer in the most effective way possible.
That being said, here’s a look at five of the small business technology trends that will make the biggest impact in 2016.
5 of the most significant small business technology trends that we’ll see in 2016:
1. Analytics Will Serve More Small Businesses
Analytics are looking to become an integral part of small business operations in 2016. With new tech companies entering the analytics space each week, it has become less costly for a business to utilize and integrate data with their sales and marketing strategies to make more informed decisions. It was only years ago when businesses had to hire a relatively expensive team to set up an analytics system, but now a small business can simply download the tools and have their conversions made within minutes.
2. Cloud Computing and Online Marketing Will Continue To Boom
The numbers of small businesses that will adopt cloud computing software will continue to grow in 2016. The increase in cloud computing technology has made it more accessible to small business, thus enabling small businesses to spend less capital and become more efficient. In addition to this, a small business will no longer have to invest a hefty amount of funds for an IT tech and a data center to keep their service available online.
3. Mobile-Friendly Websites Will Become More Important For Small Businesses
Small businesses will find themselves spending more time on their mobile branding and marketing campaigns in 2016. This is mostly due to Google setting up new Mobile Optimization Guidelines, meaning that if your website isn’t mobile friendly, it could possibly hurt your ranking on top search results. And as a small business owner, you know the importance of local SEO rankings. Take this scenario for instance: If a customer is looking for your business, they’re on the go, on their cell phone, and they type in “dental practices in Denver” or “clothing stores for women in Chicago,” will they be able to find you?
4. Tightened Cybersecurity Will Be Essential in 2016
Small and large business alike are no stranger to major data breaches. Small businesses seem like an unlikely target because there is less to gain, but their “under the radar” status makes them ideal targets for hackers around the world. It is much easier to steal sensitive information from a small business that least expects it than a large company that has spent millions in safeguarding their data. To avoid being an easy target in 2016, small businesses need to ensure that all of their systems are secure. They should work with their merchant service vendors to review security protocols and double check that their technology is up to date.
5. Connecting With Humans Will Remain Important
Every small business knows the importance of retaining a loyal customer base. And as more businesses look to adopt cost-effective tech options to streamline operations, including customer-facing ones, it will be even more important that small businesses keep in mind the importance of face-to-face interaction. First-time customers turn into repeat-customers because they had a rewarding shopping experience–staff was friendly and helpful, the business was clean and organized, and all operations seemed up to date. To keep this expectation in 2016 and develop more repeat-customers, don’t forget the importance of putting people (aka your customers) first.
These are just a few of the small business technology trends that will surface in 2016 (see the full list here). Keep these best practices in mind when developing your 2016 goals. Where will you run into the most trouble? What was something on this list that you really struggled with in 2015? What have you done well and where can you apply those best practices in the future? Learn from past experiences as well as future forecasting and your small business will flourish in 2016 and the years ahead.