Our Director of Sales, Nick Horton, has been on the circuit with our Get Connected series updating accountants and bookkeepers on the latest trends for small business clients. Here are Nick’s top three small business trends you need to know today.
Small business customers are radically changing
The industry is experiencing a massive generational shift. Millennials are the biggest generation of consumers ever. Today, 26% of the world’s population is 14 or younger. They’ve grown up with the internet, social networks, and mobile phones.
For these digital natives, email has already become outdated. They communicate real-time through platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Instagram. They expect better, faster and cheaper.
These digital natives do not consider all the apps and software they use on the daily basis technical. With this change, consider that the “cloud” is natural and ever present, so the push to cloud accounting or integrating with apps is expected not a painful sales pitch.
Small business will face a new age of “coopetition”
What do we mean by co-opetition? It’s also never been easier to start a business. Today you can find customers faster than ever before by building on top of platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. These platforms enable you but in many cases also compete with you. An organisation like Amazon now has 76 in house “private label’ brands.
Small business frustration is that a platform like Amazon both enables their business – providing access to customers and secure payments – but also competes with him directly in the same environment through their own brands.
So how can a small business cooperate with mega platforms like Amazon when anyone can start selling products online?
Your business will be smarter
Thankfully, your business will also be smarter. The world is entering the age of automation. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are now a part of everyday life, and they’re going to change our world the way electricity and the smartphone did. In simple terms, AI is the ability for a computer to perform tasks we’d usually associate with humans.
Many repeatable and predictable tasks will be automated. Computers can now help people in everyday tasks, from shopping and banking, to managing their household through virtual assistants like Google Home. These technologies will start providing advice to small businesses to help make better decisions.
It won’t be about what you know anymore. It’ll be about what you do with the information, so ensure your advisory services cover the newest business challenges for your small business clients.