Lacking the clout and power of big businesses, most often it becomes extremely difficult to find specific people with the right expertise as well as getting enough capital to grow your small business. So, the important question right now is this: How do you successfully stay up-to-date and competitive to remain relevant and grow this 2017? This post will help you grow your business with the updated 2017 small business trends and strategies.
At the core of every successful business, whether big or small, is really in making the most out of the strategic and creative action points that need to be executed. Following trends as well as employing new strategies based on market research will help solidify your position in the market and even help you acquire new customers.
A REMINDER: Before delving into this, you should have accomplished your SWOT Analysis, as always, to correctly gauge where it is most cost-efficient and aligned with your goals and where you are right now in your small business. Properly managing the direction you’re going to take is key in ensuring that you are successful and your tactics or strategies are sustainable.
Time to roll up your sleeves up and dive back in for a productive 2017 where business is booming, customers are extremely satisfied, and opportunities are recognised and leveraged. Take a look at these actionable trends and strategies and make your own successful pipeline for driving both your brand and your business for your best year yet.
GROW YOUR BUSINESS: 2017 SMALL BUSINESS
TRENDS AND STRATEGIES
Filter and Deliver Your Best Content
Review all your collaterals and streamline, remove, or add content that inspires trust in your business and brand. It all boils down to writing, and writing your best pieces for marketing and selling your products and services.
FACT: Poor grammar, phrasing, and content organization will hurt your business. Take a look at this study and see how this factor damages trust in your brand.
STRATEGY: Convert more customers by having your customer service and marketing team undergo workshops or courses to strengthen writing and conversational skills—after all it is in excellent and clear communication that you are able to deliver a consistent brand experience. If you are hard-pressed for time to do this, invest in outsourcing reliable and qualified freelance writers to help you finalise your content.
Support Marketing with Data
Data-driven marketing is possible thanks to big data. Take a look at your inventory, customer feedback, and information platforms and make decisions based on these insights. Not only is this a smart thing to do, this also further intensifies and beefs up your existing plans based on the vision and goals of your company.
FACT: Using data is an important and effective way to stay competitive by being able to learn about areas of opportunity, identify gaps, improve customer service and support, and truly personalise service and product offerings based on each customer segment.
TREND: Discover relevant insights by researching, collecting, and organizing data and apply this to various marketing efforts to keep your brand top-of-mind this 2017. Use data to segment different types of customers and identify important touchpoints that need to be created, and tailor-fit different programs (incentives, retargeting, email, etc.) to help bolster your relationships with each type of customer.
Learn Hyper-Local Marketing
In this fast-paced world of online, out-of-home, and traditional communications and promotions methods, hyper-local marketing is your best friend. This goes beyond social media or SEO—this enables you to ultimately connect with your customer in the most easy and convenient way possible.
FACT: Mobile phones, social media channels, forums, and search engines are merely access points, and not the actual tools that comprise your local community. Think beyond geo-targeting and consider these points: are you visually available, is your business’ information easy to find, is your reputation quickly annexed, what do you offer, and how can you help with your offerings?
STRATEGY: Don’t overcomplicate things just because so many tools are available. Focus on the essentials to build your hyper-local strategy. Customers and prospective customers shouldn’t have a difficult time in looking for your business online—ensure you have your N.A.P. (Name, Address, Phone Number) that are listed, verified, and matched across as many services as possible (Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.) Work to be regarded as the local authority in your niche or industry—Develop and publish informative blog posts, do responsible blog commenting, and add value to local online groups, forums, and via social media accounts; Host or speak at local business events; Be a contributor in your community. Set aside enough of your budget to leverage paid social media to increase awareness of your business—Geo-target your local community and/or surrounding neighborhoods and encourage customers to submit positive reviews for your business.
It’s time to switch mobile-friendly with mobile-centric. Why? Mobile users now easily outnumber desktop users, making this extremely important trend something to look at and establish this 2017. By making your marketing strategy mobile-centric, you identify mobile-centric searches in your niche or industry and you’ll certainly be in the best position to deliver content-based action points and solutions that get more customers through the door.
FACT: Eliminating barriers and unnecessary steps will always result to higher conversion rates, whether it be content engagement/downloads, social interaction, or product or service purchases. Add that to the fact that there are influential and extremely popular social platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Periscope that you can only harness using mobile.
STRATEGY AND TREND: Invest in developing and testing mobile payment platforms to help make business transactions faster and more convenient for the multitude of users who now see this as their only mode of payment. Also, consider this: A recent poll states that of the 75% of consumers who check their mobile devices at least once per hour, 90% is spent on apps. Create mobile apps to boost your marketing efforts via engagement with push notifications, mobile coupons, and members-only alerts.
Bolster Social Media
Online social platforms are still seen as the most effective and cost-efficient B2C channel for discovering, engaging, and converting customers. How are you using each platform?
FACT: Social media marketing is still the most utilised tool by small businesses, and as much as 83% consistently use and consider Facebook to be the most hardworking in delivering results.
STRATEGY: Get the most out of social media by researching, collecting, and analysing data to make campaigns more relevant and to maximise your ad spend. Be available and helpful, but most of all be consistent in delivering your own quality of service and establish your unique online presence on all your social media channels. If you haven’t yet, make sure to optimise these online interations by using analytics this 2017.
A caveat: Not all strategies will work for you—businesses and markets in different industries are unique, and it is up to you to correctly apply these based on your motivation, level of commitment, level of risk you are comfortable with, and how ready your small business really is to take on a larger market share. Coping is not enough; only change strategies when you are quite certain that you can take on greater responsibilities and will thrive in this new arena.
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Cheers to you, and to the new year ahead of us. Let’s make this the best year ever!