In my search for relevant and up-to-date trends for small businesses I ran across this article, April 21, 2017 BY KIM HONJO Technology Trends Small Businesses Shouldn’t Ignore. I share highlights of this article below.
Keeping up with changes in technology can be difficult for entrepreneurs who are busy with all of the tasks necessary to run their business. But there are some technology trends that small business owners shouldn’t miss because it can truly help them run their companies more efficiently and save them money.
Recently, the SMB Group released a report on the top three tech trends that will drive new opportunities and growth for small business this year. We turned their report into a fun, easy-to-read interactive site for you to explore called Ditch the Spreadsheets: 3 Tech Trends Driving Small Business Growth. Check it out.
In the meantime, I found a few more data points from Benchmarks for Small Business Growth that are also indicative of the trends and tools small businesses owners are using to advance their companies. Are you up on all the latest technological trends, or are you falling behind the curve?
FOUR TRENDS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
1. Small business use of mobile apps for salespeople will grow by 140% in the next two years.
Back in 2015, IDC forecasted that there would be more than 105 million mobile workers in the United States by 2020. Key drivers behind this growth includes the increasing affordability of smartphones and tablets, coupled with the speed and ease of which companies are building mobile apps. The advantages of having a mobile workforce are fully realized, and small business sales teams are doubling-down on this trend by are ensuring that their road warriors are empowered to sell from anywhere and everywhere.
2. Small business use of mobile apps to assist customer service roles will increase 219% in the next two years
Just as sales teams are turning to mobile apps, customer service teams are also leveraging mobile solutions to keep customers happy. In particular, mobile apps have been a game-changer for field service teams. Service teams can stay connected while in the field, gain visibility into CRM and inventory systems, and even access knowledge bases to complete tricky jobs. With customer experience being the new currency of a modern business, it’s no wonder this trend is skyrocketing.
3. 62% of small business marketers plan to increase spending on marketing automation substantially or somewhat.
Today’s marketers already have a lot on their plates between looking after multiple channels, bringing in new leads, and communicating their business’s value in fresh ways. And that’s at large enterprise companies; small business marketers are stretched even more thinly. That’s where the benefits of marketing automation really shines — it helps small businesses market themselves with greater efficiency and effectiveness. And because many marketing automation platforms sync with CRM, marketing and sales can collaborate easily, giving their customers a more personalized, tailored experience.
4. Expected 139% growth in predictive analytics use among small business service teams across all performance levels.
The smartest businesses already know that relying on gut instinct to make decisions isn’t a sustainable approach. With the emergence of new analytics tools, making data-driven decisions is accessible to companies of all sizes, and employees of all skill levels. Small businesses are beginning to test how predictive technologies can enhance how they do business. Both sales and service teams are using analytics to gather insights across the customer lifecycle, from understanding what works when onboarding new customers, to honing re-engagement tactics.