Paying attention to trends can pay off
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith January 4, 2014 1:22PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Small business owners to sales professionals sometimes spend so much time in the trenches they fail to leave those well beaten pathways to see what is on the horizon. This may explain why I hear these remarks so many times:
• “I never heard about that”
• “Where did you read that?”
• “How did you know that?”
From my research, I believe these are seven significant trends affecting small businesses especially those with under 20 employees.
Big Data – This is a term that came from IT and is now far more influential than just within IT departments. As a trend, Big Data looks to become a key factor in business growth to innovation.
Content Marketing and Curation – Social media has dramatically altered the marketing channels. More time and even bodies will be devoted to content marketing.
Local to Global Mindset – Technology has expanded the marketplace from local to global. No longer can small business owners and business professionals think about only their backyard.
Mobility – Smart devices now have customers both external and internal engaged more than ever before. How small businesses determine what devices to use both internally through operations to externally through marketing to recruiting will determine their overall productivity and profitability.
Passive Income – With the plethora of intellectual capital and people having less time while being expected to do more, those who can generate passive income through websites will be able to cushion those leaner sales months.
Sustainability – Being green has gone beyond the environment to ensuring every executed solution from training to continuous improvement delivers a positive return on investment. This trend will require those in leadership roles to schedule specific and consistent time to work ON the business instead of just IN the business.
Talent Management – Probably more than any other trend, talent management will be crucial to staying ahead of the flow and maintaining a competitive edge. More and more firms will look to outsourcing through their recruiting, hiring such as proven assessments to handling customers’ interactions. With 97.7 percent of all small businesses having fewer than 20 employees, talent management will be the deciding factor to ensure the right people are in the right seats making the right decisions by using the right talents for the right results within the right time frame and right environment.
These trends will be discussed in more detail throughout the month.
P.S. Shout Out – Haven House, in Hammond and Dayspring Women’s Center serve those less fortunate.