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Small Business Trends: What Are Trends on the Horizon?

Business owners need to pay attention to emerging business trends to stay competitive. By learning what people want and expect from businesses, you can provide the best customer service possible so customers will continue to support your business in the future. You can also attract new customers by learning about different trends in purchasing.

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How to recognize emerging business trends

To be aware of emerging business trends, follow these steps:

  1. Pay attention to the news
  2. Observe what your competitors are doing
  3. Practice social listening
  4. Read industry reports
  5. Follow industry leaders on social media

1. Pay attention to the news

Follow a few different news sources to stay current on new and emerging stories. Pay extra attention to the business section or other sections related to your industry. Choose sources that have different perspectives so you learn a wide range of stories and opinions.

2. Observe what your competitors are doing

Though it is important to be a thought leader in your industry, you still need to pay attention to what your competitors are doing. Then you can see what does well for them and what you should avoid. This can help you think of better ways to serve your clients.

3. Practice social listening

Social listening involves monitoring different social media channels to see what people are saying about your business. Use social media, keyword searches and other social listening tools to gauge how customers view your company and your competitors. Likewise, read customer reviews of both your company and other companies in your industry.

4. Read industry reports

Industry reports include important data such as supply, price and demand. They also indicate market trends and operations. Look for industry reports directly related to your line of business—many of them can be found online for free.

5. Follow industry leaders on social media

Get connected with other industry leaders on social media to see what they are posting about their companies and the market in general. They may share insightful reports or posts about their company’s new offerings. You can see what people are commenting on their posts to get a better idea of how the public feels about their services.

Current and emerging business trends to be ready for

Here are a few current trends you should know about:

  • Green initiatives
  • Appealing to Gen Z
  • Transparency
  • Online presence
  • User reviews

Green initiatives

More consumers are becoming conscientious about the state of the environment and want to use their buying power to improve it. They want to support companies that are environmentally conscious and have sustainable business practices. Look at your current business model to find ways you could have less of an environmental impact. Some ideas to be more green include:

  • Go paperless:Only use digital means of communication and marketing. If you’re in retail, offer customers the option to have their receipt emailed to them instead of printed.
  • Offer remote positions:If some of your employees could do their work from home, give them the option to work remotely. This cuts down on emissions from their commute to work.
  • Hire an environmental consultant:They can look at your business operations and think of ways you can cut back on your environmental impact.
  • Use natural light: If your office has a lot of windows that let in natural light, turn off your office lights on sunny days to conserve energy.

Related:11 Tips to Effectively Manage Remote Employees

Appealing to Gen Z

As Generation Z enters the workforce, they’ll start generating disposable income. Use social listening to learn their interests, opinions and values and begin forming marketing approaches.

Transparency

Due to the internet and social media, the market is more saturated than ever. Consumers want to support authentic businesses that are transparent about their practices. That means having ethical working conditions, fair pay for employees, diverse staff and sustainable practices. When you are proud of what your company does, convey it in your marketing and social media communications.

Related:How to Grow Your Business

Online presence

Most people purchase at least some products online. Even if you have a brick and mortar store, it may be a good idea to also give people a way to purchase your goods or services online.

Having an updated website that can be viewed on both desktop and mobile devices is crucial for your company. People want to research your company before buying your goods or services. Likewise, make sure your business listing is accurate so people know where your location is, when your store is open and how to contact you by phone or email.

User reviews

User reviews on popular review websites will only continue to impact your business. Many people read reviews before deciding if they want to support your business. By providing quality customer service, more people will be likely to leave you good reviews. If you receive a negative review, reach out to the customer directly to resolve the situation. You could even politely comment on the review, apologize for their poor experience and find a way to make it better.

Business trends FAQs

These are two of the most frequently asked questions about business trends:

How important is it for my business to have a social media presence?

A social media presence for your business is becoming increasingly important as more people use social media. If you want to engage and connect with customers, then you should make social media accounts for your business. Do some research to see which social media platforms your target audience is using so you know where to focus your energy.

How can I use search engines to help me find trends?

When using a search engine to find trends, search specific keywords in the news section. For example, if you are in the automotive industry, search "cars," "auto" and "automotive industry." You can also set up search engine alerts for specific keywords to have related news articles emailed to you every day. Set an alert for your company’s name to see if you’re ever mentioned in the news.

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