So for the first time in a few years, we’re starting off on a positive note (relatively speaking). Plan for great things to happen at your business — and as you do, make sure to account for this five trends and how they could improve or affect your business. So if you haven’t read enough 2013 business trends posts already, here’s mine. (I promise you this one will kick all the other’s butts’ :))
1. Small business <3s virtual
Good people (employees) are hard to find. It’s even harder for small businesses to attract them, especially if they live in the middle of Small Town, Utah. Or if you’re looking for a very specialized or experienced candidate, there’s not a big talent pool as is, and it’s even smaller by geographical area. If you’re a small business, relocation and attractive packages for candidates might not be possible. But considering virtual employees, you open up to a whole new world of great talent.
Not only does this virtual trend apply for getting talent, but retaining talent as well. Offering remote-work options where employees can telecommute is something Gen Yers really value. As they continue to take up a larger portion of the workforce, companies must adapt to their values.
2. Our obsession with mobile will continue to grow …a lot.
As if you haven’t heard this a million times already, yes mobile is the new thing. Tablets are the only thing fueling PC growth right now, and smartphone usage is growing exponentially. Business Insider has some pretty significant data to prove it.
Not only is mobile being used for selling and purchasing, but it’s also become part of our work flow. iPads are replacing notepads, the cloud is helping people collaborate more and manage virtual teams, and keep data safe. Questions to consider: Is your website optimized for mobile-optimized yet? If you sell products, can people make purchases from you via mobile? Can you use mobile tools for you or your team to be more productive? What is your business doing to adapt?
3. Marketers become BFFs with native advertising and earned media
People can smell advertising a mile away …and it smells bad. Advertisers and marketers are making advertising ads to be way more relevant and less pitchy. Ads will be harder to point out, less disruptive, much more personal and more engaging. With personalization comes automation. We’ll see an uptick in tools and marketing that Brad likes to call, “auto-personalized.”
Earned media took off in 2012, where the social world help brands and companies grow. We’ve all seen advertising with our friend’s Facebook pictures next to a product, app or service they use. And marketers working on getting mentions or coverage from the media as a form of marketing, rather than buying ads from the media. We’ll continue to see that grow as digital marketing budgets continue to increase amongst business.
4. Business will earn a degree in culture and employee values.
Gen Ys / Millennials are causing a fuss in the workplace. Boomers are telling Gen Ys to get off their lawn, and Gen Xers want them to leave them alone. But Gen Ys are slowly taking over the majority of the workforce, and bringing their work-life values with them. Businesses are readjust their company culture and learn how to attract Millennials.
5. Value becomes the big sales pitch.
There’s been a lot of focus on cost the last several years because of the misery of 2008 and 2009. Small business will focus more on the value they provide for their product or service, and less on the money part. Companies that don’t will have harder times closing deals, especially as small businesses are getting the courage to raise their prices.
Did I miss anything? What trends are YOU noticing?