Businesses need to finish out 2019 with a bang.
2019 has brought a host of challenges to business owners as new trends have taken hold in the marketplace and technology continued to become increasingly important for business success. Even more so than in previous years, entrepreneurs who are preparing and adapting to these changes will find themselves in a promising position for business growth while those who lag will find themselves struggling to keep up with their competitors.
To make most of the tail end of 2019, business owners should be thinking about marketing to millennials and incorporating technology into their daily workflow as well as their larger business strategies.
Here are a few 2019 small business trends entrepreneurs need to stay on top of to be successful:
Appeal to Millennials
Millennials now make up the largest generation in the U.S., according to The Pew Research Center. This young, tech-savvy group will largely dictate customer trends for years to come so retailers need to make sure they are catering to the preferences of this group right away. Millennial consumers value convenience and the ability to shop anytime, anywhere. They also have ample purchasing power, as evidenced by the fact that Millennials pumped around $600 billion into the economy collectively and individually spend almost $50,000 per year. Looking beyond business trends 2019, expect both these figures to rise substantially as Millennials become the engine of the global economy.
To accommodate this group’s ferocious appetite for making purchases on the go, small businesses need to make sure they have a strong online and mobile presence. This might mean creating a smartphone app for the store or at least optimizing a brand’s website for mobile use. Platforms such as Magento, Vend and Shopify allow business owners without a lot of capital to create an online storefront. In this day and age, business owners who neglect to acknowledge online shopping as a legitimate form of commerce will lose out on customers and a lot of potential sales. Furthermore, those that fail to keep their digital footprint updated and engaging will lose a lot of online traffic to their more tech-savvy competitors. Remember, getting established online is the initial investment, but being successful online is an ongoing expense.
Business owners might need some help to get their online and mobile sites up and running smoothly. Entrepreneurs who need to hire a professional to help them achieve their online goals should consider applying for alternative business financing. Unlike traditional banks that have onerous credit score requirements and long wait periods, alternative lenders can approve business owners for a small business loan in as little as one day with minimal hassle.
Retool your Marketing Strategy
More than ever before, retailers have to come up with new and innovative ways to reach customers. Small business trends 2019 show customers moving away from static forms of advertising toward more interactive mediums such as video and mobile marketing tactics.
In fact, a recent survey showed that YouTube and Facebook Video are the two channels marketers are most eager to start utilizing. That means it’s critical for business owners to allocate resources in their budgets for video advertising and similar mediums. Business owners who effectively leverage video as an advertising tool will position themselves to have success with consumers and experience business growth in 2019 and beyond.
Additionally, over 80% of adults now own a smartphone, and around 20% of them can only access the internet through their phones according to the Pew Internet Research Center. More traditional tactics such as email campaigns might not be as effective with these consumers, so retailers have to start reaching out to them through mobile alerts. Stores can advertise sales, discounts or special events through text messages, which might increase the likelihood of these mobile-first consumers visiting the store and making a purchase.
Leverage Consumer Data
Retailers that aren’t analyzing consumer data are already behind. Just consider that customer relationship management (CRM) is now the biggest software market in the world, suggesting it’s more or less required for today’s business.
Using CRM technology to understand consumer purchase habits, simplify supply chain management and create business strategies became a popular tactic before this year, and it’s only going to become more important moving forward. Among the business trends 2019, expect to see companies that excel at data pull ahead of the pack and become leaders in terms of innovation. Business owners who do not have CRM technology should seriously consider implementing it into their business strategy for the upcoming year.
It allows entrepreneurs to examine individual customer purchase histories, keep track of product sales, company promotions and deals, among many other things that aid business leaders in determining what their next steps should be. Having this data gives individuals the ability to quickly identify which business strategies are working and which need to be rethought, saving the company time and money.
To finance any important technological upgrades for their company, business owners should look into an alternative business loan, which can give them the cash they need quickly to make sure their business stays competitive.