New business trends impact business owners and consumers alike. Being aware of what to expect provides companies with relevant information as they compete for market share in an increasingly competitive global environment. While there are changes worth noting, there are also typical challenges that every entrepreneur and business manager must accept as barriers to entry such as working capital requirements, viable business strategies and a skilled team of employees.
Crowdfunding and more traditional online capital sources such as Advanced Funds Network have made the once time-consuming business of acquiring working capital much easier. These online options facilitate the process by forgoing the lengthy application ordeal common in banks and other financial institutions in favor of fast approvals and less stringent guidelines. Satisfied customers of Advanced Funds Network say they have received approval within two hours of application. Now that business funds are much easier to obtain, the big question that looms large for decision makers, is how to strategically spend those funds to reap the greatest ROI. Below are trends that should be considered when formulating answers to that important question.
Increased Mobile Sales
If the predictions published in Small Biz Trends about eMarketer’s predictions are true, then 25 percent of online sales will be mobile by the end of 2016. Considering how enthusiastically smartphones have been embraced by consumers, this development is not surprising. With YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all vying for a piece of that mobile action, all the major players are betting on a continuance of this trend. Any business wishing to compete in this lucrative mobile marketplace must ensure that their marketing platform is compatible with these buying options.
The New Business Model as a Liaison
According to Forbes, the writing is on the wall about the future role of major business players that act as valuable liaisons between consumers and the resources they need. Visionary leaders like Uber, AirBnB, Facebook and Kickstarter all have one thing in common; they connect consumers with the resources they need, acting as an intermediary instead of as a direct supplier. This successful business model works and offers entrepreneurs a new platform for reaching consumers who appreciate the value of relationship building and long-term connections.
There is no denying that the Millennials have arrived and savvy businesses are courting them to become both employees and consumers. The Millennials represent one of the largest generations ever with unique buying patterns and preferences that must be understood if a business venture hopes to succeed. Focusing on how to reach millennials via social media while making the process fun, are two strategies that companies are employing to court this important sector of consumers.
Utilizing Customer Service to Add Value
As online purchases surge and the playing field is no longer hindered significantly by the logistics of geography and financial means limitations, industry leaders realize that competing on price alone is not a winning strategy. Large companies are betting on the fact that excellent customer service will be the distinction between the winners and losers today and in the future. It is an accepted fact by business leaders, that the shortest path to growth is through customer retention. Considering how quickly negative customer comments can spread over social media, smart companies are seeking efficient ways to anticipate problems and quietly solve customer issues before they have a chance to spread and impact a company’s reputation and future profitability.
Adapting to an ever-changing business landscape is the key to success. By anticipating consumer trends, business managers and owners can build business plans that harness the potential and that mitigate foreseeable challenges. An increasingly interconnected consumer society is inevitable with millennials leading the way. Astute business leaders will embrace these trends and profit as a result of their foresight and planning.