The start of a new year offers a great opportunity for small and growing businesses to take stock and look ahead to their business approach for 2018. But with a rapidly changing business environment and new technology constantly reinventing the way we work, you may be unsure where to start. Read on for our pick of the top trends you’ll want to apply to your business in the coming year.
- Offer flexibility
If you’re competing with large, established companies for top talent then you need to offer benefits to employees that will make your business more attractive. One of the top perks that staff will look for in 2018 is job flexibility, so if, for example, you can offer working hours to suit individual needs, or give staff the opportunity to work from home, or buy additional vacation hours, then go for it! As a small business you are often well placed to be more adaptable and offer flexible, personalized working hours than large companies with a set of immovable regulations for all employees.
- Focus your social media effort
For small businesses social media can be difficult to manage, so if you don’t have the resources on hand to manage large quantities of information across multiple social media platforms then simply focus your efforts on one or two areas where your customers are most prevalent. Quality over quantity is the key here, with most experts agreeing that it is better to do a few social media platforms well than spread your business too thinly across the board.
- Give customers a personal experience
Increasingly, consumers are looking for more personalized experiences when it comes to the brands they engage with, and as a small business it is worth taking this into consideration as expertise and personal service are often easier to utilize than in a large, faceless corporation. Use your size to your advantage and show customers what you can offer that the others can’t!
- Use storytelling
Storytelling is a great way to encourage customers to engage with your business, and is another way you can use your size to benefit your marketing strategy. Show customers what you’re all about and create a compelling story to tell them, perhaps about how the business was formed, or what you aim to achieve, or how you have helped previous customers. Using effective storytelling is both entertaining for potential customers and builds empathy and loyalty to your business – but plan this carefully and think about what your customers would really like to hear in order to effectively build interest and engagement.
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