What are the most important small business trends entrepreneurs should be on the lookout for in 2015? SmallBizTrends compiled the following list of 10 trends they believe will shape the economy this year:
- Hiring freelancers: The shift will move from having full-time employees on the payroll to hiring temporary workers for project-based work.
- Telecommuters: Small business owners must become comfortable with leading and building their teams using remote resources.
- Face-to-face meetings and/or video chat: Although email is more popular than phone calls amongst most workers, the trend for 2015 will be to have more in-person meetings to grow and foster relationships with co-workers, vendors and customers.
- Dashboard tools vs. apps: A recent study revealed that the average number of apps per small business is 14.3. Plus, there is evidence that apps hurt employee productivity. The new trend will be for small businesses to use dashboards that integrate the apps and track metrics.
- Company-issued phones: In the past, small businesses saved money by asking employees to use their personal devices to conduct business resulting in security issues. To tighten security, companies are now issuing devices that only allow users to download approved apps.
- More data analysis: Small business owners are bombarded with data that is hard to interpret. This year they’ll invest in apps that analyze it into something management can leverage.
- Building long-term relationships with customers: With information being so readily available nowadays, customers can always find the lowest price. The trend will be to service the customer in a way that fosters loyalty.
- More transparency: With consumers armed with smart devices and connected through social media, nothing in business is sacred any longer. Therefore, small businesses need to be more forthcoming with customers and employees alike.
- More paid advertising through social media: To drown out the online noise and get their products/services in front of customers, small businesses will need invest in paid advertising through social media and rely less on organic social posts.
- More crowdfunding: Peer-to-peer lending will become an alternate source of capital to traditional bank loans.
Molz, Barry. “Will You be Taking Part in These Future Small Business Trends?”. Smallbiztrends.com. 01/06/2015.