Your small business is just one of the 22 million businesses registered in the U.S., according to the latest U.S. Census data. It’s almost year-end and time to think about how to keep your business ahead of the competition. These current small business trends will help you take that next step and set you up for success for years to come.
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Get Into the Clouds
Companies continue to move their operations into the cloud. Starting out as a convenient way to store large amounts of data, cloud computing has become an all-purpose solution for many business functions because it allows users to access data from any device. The best cloud services offer high-security encryption.
Software as a service (SaaS) providers have emerged as digital marketing has grown; they create applications your company uses in the cloud. These include email programs and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. For years, only large companies could make use of these sophisticated applications. Now you can do everything from taking customer orders to managing your inventory in the cloud.
Protect Your Investment
If you have a security plan for your company, review it and make sure you are using the latest technologies to protect your physical assets and intellectual capital. If you have a home office, check out the latest home security equipment to see how you can better protect yourself.
If your company and website are not already supporting mobile access, then it’s time to look at that. More people are using smartphones and tablets as their preferred ways of getting information, doing online research and making purchases.
Your websites should be of a responsive design so mobile viewers will have a positive experience on your site no matter what devices they use.
Searching, browsing, shopping and paying should be optimized for mobile devices.
There’s an App for That
Speaking of mobile computing, look at your company and products to see if there is a mobile app just waiting to be developed. Companies are making their own apps that give users and employees functionality and experiences from mobile devices.
Home Depot has an app that lets customers find a store, see the layout of the store, find products and read reviews.
It has some useful features, but it is primarily a marketing tool. Give your customers a little something that will help them out and they’ll put up with your logo on the screen while using the app.
Get More Visibility
Whatever your product or service, there are informational videos that you could create to help your customers get the most out of them.
Create a YouTube channel and begin creating videos that have useful instructions, product functionality reviews, tips and techniques.
The better educated your customers are about how to use your products or services, the more satisfied they will be, and more likely to continue to buy your products.