A new year is upon us and now is the time for your small business to break through the rut and get back on top. There has never been a better time to formulate a new marketing plan and put it into action. Why now? The answer is simple; the internet has expanded rapidly over the past few years to become your most powerful small business weapon to generate sales and growth.
More than ever before there are new and easily accessible tools to utilize. There are opportunities to uncover. It is time to build your online knowledge and get out there to take full advantage.
Here are 5 trends to keep an eye on for the New Year:
Trend #1 — Proving Your Worth
Your online audience cannot not be taken for granted. Especially now, in this age of web-savvy audiences with the internet at their complete disposal. They are more informed, smarter and expect quality results from you. It is your job to put them at ease and convince them you are valuable as a business. Show them a personal touch. Engage with them and prove you are willing to go the extra mile for them. Your competitors are always only one click away, so displaying a personal touch to your customers will provide added value to your business.
Trend #2 — Stop, Look and Listen
Today there is an increasing number of ways to listen to your customers. Technology has provided us all with a platform to voice our opinions, our likes and dislikes. For your business this means that you need to pay attention to what your target market are saying. Their voices can heard in several ways through Twitter, Facebook posts, watchdog groups, online surveys, forum discussions, emails, or even good old fashioned face to face contact. All small business owners must incorporate this new wave of communication to establish the most important knowledge tool you can gain; what your customer wants.
Trend #3 — Broadening Your Horizon
Up until now you may have limited your business focus to your immediate local area. This is the year to reach out and broaden your sales further afield. Don't just think locally, or even nationally. Why not go global and put an international face to your small business. Big sales can come from the most unlikely of places so why cut yourself off from increased exposure? The internet is your window to the world and it is time to spread your wings and find a bigger market for your products.
Trend #4 – Content Control
The quality of your online content is no longer something to ignore. There is increasing evidence pointing to the fact that good quality, engaging content can create more sales and a bigger market for your business. Don't just provide lazy information and bland product descriptions. Customers want to feel like they are being spoken to directly, so build conversations with them online. Make them feel excited and informed. This will give your business the opportunity to crack the greatest selling tool of them all; Positive word of mouth.
Trend #5 — The Mobile Revolution
The mobile market is one of the most exciting and expanding areas of technology out there, and it is still in its infancy. This year is your chance to dive into the relatively new world of mobile apps. Anyone with an Android, Iphone or Tablet PC will tell you that there is an app for just about everything, with new ones being created daily. What a great environment to get your small business in on. This area can do nothing but expand, so why not jump in at the first floor and watch your customers grow with you.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.