In 2015, SMBs in Asia experienced tremendous growth and saw developments with big data and the e-commerce boom. Here are some predictions for what the top business trends will be in 2016, and what they could mean for your small business.
In 2016 and beyond, using digital tools will be a staple for entrepreneurs who want to stay ahead of the curve. Foremost among these will be cloud-based accounting that removes the possibility of human error and collates all important information about a business into one easily accessible place. A business that boasts seamless financial management thanks to electronic software, such as QuickBooks Online, has an edge over less digitally savvy competitors.
Understanding the climate your enterprise operates in can also be enhanced through the use of social media, such as Facebook, to create positive and deep information that will encourage customers to do business with you. Businesses need websites that are tailored for smartphones and tablets, as increasing numbers of potential customers conduct their research on handheld devices.
Connecting with a customer base through tailored web content and paying attention to users’ feedback is useful for understanding and seeing the market from new perspectives so that you can react quickly to the fast-changing business climate. Using expertise from organizations offering Google Analytics-style reporting also keeps businesses up to date.
Possibilities abound if you are launching a new business or want to explore vertical opportunities where there are trending fads. The demand for outsourcing will keep growing in 2016 as consumers who are time-poor but have significant disposable income also increase. Consider whether your business has expertise in an area that can be adapted to meet a need, whether up or down the demand chain.
Alternatively, if operating online is more appealing, there are many e-tailing opportunities to harvest. The swing back to hand-made products and accessories, for example, has created a demand from shoppers who want something a little different and will be looking to niche suppliers – rather than big brands – for unique goods.
Apps that can quickly guide people to your products and help them transact with your business will become the standard. In the absence of face-to-face communication with customers, an app is the next best thing. Ensure your app is designed well and can be picked up easily in online searches and effortlessly installed on devices by customers.
Search engines will likely become more sophisticated and it is anticipated that video ads will be included in the results of customers searching for products and services, in a similar way to the occasional YouTube clip popping up in a search.
Businesses can also expect their toughest competition from rivals who are nimble and quickly embrace technological, media and business trends to gain insights into their markets and satisfy ever-busier and finicky customers when they demand it.
More than ever, it’s vital for small enterprises to stay informed about changes in the marketplace. Read more about solutions for small businesses and how you can stay ahead of the curve.