A new year tends to be ushered in with confidence and optimism. Many see it as an opportunity to evaluate the previous year and to plan for a new vision going forward. This can especially be so for small businesses everywhere as they continue to surge forward despite daunting obstacles. But, what might a new vision for the coming year look like? In some recently gathered published research, Yarro, a national association of business owners, has gathered the intel needed for small businesses to create a confident and optimistic vision going forward into the new year. The following comes from their published report:
- The number goal of brands used to be customer satisfaction. Moving into a post-pandemic world the new number one for successful brands is employee satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is still paramount. However, without a happy, healthy workforce, customers satisfaction suffers.According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, the median employee tenure is just over 4 years. To succeed as a small business, employee retention is critical. To attract and retain the best talent as a small business, you must provide employees what they value most – flexible working arrangements.
- Working remotely isn’t just a new or passing trend, it’s the wave of the future. A recent survey of business executives and managers attending the Global Leadership Summit in London found that over 34% of participants reported that by 2020 over half of their company’s full-time workforce will be working remotely. Twenty five percent of survey participants indicated that a full 75% of their workforce will be working in a non-traditional office by 2021. Through 2022 and beyond we will see a majority of business and employees adopt a “remote” workforce model.
- If you want to succeed as a small business, it’s more important than ever to be actively engaged on social media. First, social media usage will expand across all demographics. Most significantly, older people will begin using social media platforms that have traditionally been supported by younger users.
- Live videos and stories will provide users with an up-close and timely look at your business, products or latest news.Through 2020, social media audiences will trend towards dynamic, interactive content that pulls them in and allows them to experience the action. influencer marketing, which came into its own just a few years ago, will continue to expand and evolve. Expect to see the rise of “micro-influencers” in 2020. Micro-influencers will appeal to small to midsize businesses that don’t have the budget to hire influencers with large social media followings.
- Customer service is the one thing that can make or break a small business faster than anything else. In today’s fast-paced age of the internet and digital technology, customers expect to get answers quickly and have their concerns resolved immediately. That’s why it’s important that you make it as easy as possible for your customers to communicate with you. According to Nextria, over 50 percent of all customers prefer to request help online over calling a company directly. However, 40 percent of customers still want to speak with a live customer support representative when addressing more sensitive or complicated issues such as billing or technical problems.
- A recent survey conducted by Podium reports that reviews influence over 93% of consumers’ online purchasing decisions, 82% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase online, and 60% look at online reviews at least once a week. The same survey by Podium suggests that over two-thirds of consumers (68%) will pay a 15% premium for the same product when they can see that another individual has bought and tried the product – and they believe they’ll have a positive experience as well. Online reviews have a major impact on consumer purchasing behavior. A recent survey conducted by Podium reports that reviews influence over 93% of consumers’ online purchasing decisions, 82% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase online, and 60% look at online reviews at least once a week. The same survey by Podium suggests that over two-thirds of consumers (68%) will pay a 15% premium for the same product when they can see that another individual has bought and tried the product – and they believe they’ll have a positive experience as well. Online reviews have a major impact on consumer purchasing behavior. When real people endorse your products, your business becomes more trustworthy and your sales increase.
- A report from Gartner Group predicts that nearly a third of all web browsing will be voice initiated by 2020. By 2020, over half of all internet searches will be voice-based and a third of all searches will be performed using a screenless device.
-Written by Kevin Sawyer