Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, nailed it when he said, “change is the only constant in life.” Change is inevitable in business, and your company needs to evolve along with it. When it comes to keeping up with emerging trends, entrepreneurs must be proactive, not just reactive.
Here are three small business trends you should watch for in 2023.
1. Technology will become even more important
“The trick with new technology is to implement solutions that will make your life easier without letting it take over. Don’t embrace new tech ideas just because they exist and look exciting. Look for technology that will help your company achieve its goals.
For example, if you sell a lot of products online, the right e-commerce software could save you a lot of time. Good email marketing software can help you build personalized relationships with clients. But if the majority of your business is in person, it isn’t worth wasting time learning to use new software that won’t significantly help your bottom line.
Looking at the bigger picture, we’ve recently seen the growth of virtual worlds, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and blockchain. As a small business owner, it’s useful to understand these trends and consider how they might impact your company. But you don’t have to embrace all — or any — of them if they don’t align with your needs.”
Source: Motley Fool
2. The focus is on user reviews
“Purchasing a new product involves many steps, but recently, users have started to focus on a single aspect above all others, the reviews. It isn’t just about features or price anymore. It’s also about what other people have to say about a particular product. Users feel a lot more comfortable purchasing something that another individual has bought and tried.
Fan & Fuel reported that 92% of people would hesitate to complete a purchase when there are absolutely no reviews available. Reviews are now essential to selling products online. Just having a 4-star rating by more than hundreds of customers makes it that much easier and more appealing to customers.
Many small businesses don’t have deep pockets when it comes to marketing efforts so it’s crucial to focus on user reviews. When real people advocate your brand online, your business and product become more trustworthy and can lead to increased sales.”
3. Chatbots providing 24/7 customer service
“AI chatbots are driving conversational commerce as more customers become willing to engage with them. Providing 24/7 customer service is vital to improving customer relationships, and chatbots use data mining to understand people’s needs in seconds to serve up the most appropriate information immediately.
Not only does this reduce the time and stress customers experience searching for answers, but it also helps direct them to the next stage of the funnel. For small businesses not operating ’round the clock, chatbots can answer queries and engage with customers who might need help outside office hours.”
Chris Gadek, VP of Growth, AdQuick
Source: Small Business Currents
How Will You Adapt to New Business Trends?
As a small business owner, you have some important choices to make this year. It is time to do something big for your business. Competition in the marketplace is without question fierce, and therefore you have to make a move to differentiate yourself and, consequently, get noticed.
So what will your next move be? Perhaps this means opening a second location or expanding your current one. This could be a matter of hiring more staff members. Or expanding your portfolio of offerings. Whatever you have in mind, odds are you’ll probably need some additional capital. And First Union Lending is here to help serve small business owners across the United States. Fill out our online application and find out what you qualify for!