Article | June 24, 2021
The year 2020 saw the impact of a sudden outbreak of COVID-19 that had a significant impact on all facets of life: education, shopping, environment, health, jobs, and many more. But the effect that it had on businesses was prominent and was the most challenging years in the history of small businesses across the globe. However, 2021 came up with a few small business trends & forecasts that gave some relief to small business owners and allowed taking advantage of these trends to survive small businesses.
With everything turning digital, customer's behaviors changed, their preferences and values changed, markets turned volatile, and so did their expectations evolve. Hence, small businesses had to renew their focus on changed customers.
Even though the coronavirus outbreak has not yet ended, small businesses are optimistic and ready to be resilient, adapting their business model to changing conditions. This blog provides crucial small business trends that can smoothen the way you run your business.
Current Business Outlook
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NIFB) says small businesses in the United States are going through a rough patch ever in their business history. COVID-19 affected different industries differently.
The most common small business challenges faced during COVID-19 are:
Loss of revenue
Government restrictions are gradually easing with the increase in vaccine rollout taking place in full swing across the US in 2021. As everyone adjusts to the new normal, small businesses will be at the forefront of the economic recovery.
According to the Small Business Trends survey, 23% of respondents reported revenue loss during the pandemic, while 6% reported increased revenue. In addition, 11% of small business owners polled said they had cut their budgets, and another 11% said they had temporarily closed their doors. As more small business owners become optimistic about 2021, there is no doubt that this optimism should go with proper planning and preparation.
Find out few small business trends which are likely to dominate in 2021 and beyond and how to take advantage of the trends for your business growth:
Faster adaptability and flexibility to any crisis
With the change in consumer behavior resulting from the pandemic, the business operation also changed and adapted to the new normal of doing business. To stay afloat, many business owners spontaneously adapted and were able to identify innovative approaches to change how they operate. In addition, with the need to reduce in-person transactions, an increasing number of businesses emphasize the use of technology.
Few small businesses have achieved record sales even during the pandemic by implementing a new and renewed business model that allows them to operate even with few in-person transactions.
How are businesses innovating to survive the pandemic?
Because of the pandemic, 43% of small businesses began to rethink how they do business.
32% of small businesses discovered new ways to deliver existing service offerings.
22% of small businesses encouraged their employees to reinvent themselves to adapt to new business changes.
Rise in continuous remote work
For many companies and professions such as teachers, creatives, trainers, and more, where remote work culture was just a possibility, it became a reality because of the pandemic. As a result, COVID-19 played as a game-changer and proved to be the perfect time for businesses to create their online presence.
Remote work had existed even before the pandemic started, but COVID-19 accelerated this and turned into compulsive adoption. Remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic ends and might become a preferred way of working. Many businesses will transition to a distributed working model by 2021 and beyond. It makes perfect sense for small businesses to jump on board with this trend and go remote.
The 2021 State of Small Business Trends Report has been released by the Small Business Expo, America's most prominent business networking and educational event for business owners, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. According to the report, three in ten respondents said they intend to keep their employees working from home after COVID-19, one in ten will return to the office, and six in ten said the Work from home policy did not apply to their business.
Implementation of contactless payment options
Cash-free or contactless payment was very helpful during the pandemic and has become a new norm. This pattern is expected to continue through 2021 and beyond. Small businesses have immensely benefited from electronic payments such as digital wallet payments, touchless debit cards, and credit card payments. These payment modes are easier to manage, more secure, ensure transparency, and saves time. When it comes to payment options, small businesses should consider being extremely flexible. As a result, selecting the right payment gateway platform is the first step in dealing with this trend. This is among one of the very encouraging small business trends for growth.
E-commerce Dominance and Social Commerce Growth
E-commerce was already flourishing before the pandemic, but its emergence just accelerated the e-commerce growth. According to the report, e-commerce will be the dominant force in 2021 and beyond. Thus, small businesses can capitalize on this boom by providing a seamless e-commerce experience for their customers by making their website mobile-friendly.
Improved emphasis on employee happiness and well-being
The pandemic followed by worldwide lockdown was complex for everyone, and one thing it made us realize was the significance of our physical health and, more importantly, mental health. Lockdown and remote work was mentally draining to most employees. For every organization employee, health and wellness became an utmost priority. Hence they had to come up with something to keep their employees engaged and happy during working hours.
You have the advantage of smaller teams as a small business, and you can foster close relationships among your co-workers. Even if you work from home, you can always plan a fun evening together via video call. Small gestures can go a long way toward bringing your team together and increasing employee morale. You must go above and beyond by identifying ways to increase employee happiness.
Embark on Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is like celebrity endorsement, which is common in the age of mass media. Social media has grabbed a large chunk of marketing in today’s world and stays in contact with the world. Influencer marketing is a subtle form of marketing that has emerged as a viable strategy for various brands. Because of their low cost and broad market reach, influencers are used by 25% of small businesses for social media marketing. The influencer marketing industry is the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method and expected to expand further in the coming years to become the biggest future small business trends 2020/2021.
Leveraging Digital Technologies
Small businesses adopted technologies before the pandemic, which improved their bottom lines. Small business owners discovered that leveraging digital technologies and the internet enabled them to operate smoothly in the face of the COVID-19 crisis and restrictions while also ensuring the safety of their employees and customers. It allowed them to identify new revenue streams and reinvent their business models.
5G network and AI have become a big part of digital technologies for small businesses. Small business owners should invest in digital technologies and systems that will allow them to provide personalized customer service. In addition, using digital technologies can automate business processes and manage employees who work remotely.
Digital tools have the potential to boost productivity and efficiency. They make you more agile. According to the survey, 77 percent of US small-business owners use technology for personal reasons, such as online shopping or media consumption.
The 5G Network and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
5G network rollout and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a big part of the business plan. The 5G network is a larger and better version of our 4G LTE network. The 5G network provides lightning-fast internet speeds, which expands the possibilities for using AI across industries. As a result, this combination opens new possibilities for IoT.
Experts predict that by 2024, 5G networks will have a global penetration of 40%, handling 25% of all mobile data. In addition, 5G networks provide a much simpler setup process.
AI can assist small businesses that are typically short on staff in automating processes and improving efficiency. AI can learn from data sets, analyze new information from various sources, and adapt as needed. This decision can help small businesses compete with larger competitors and prove the best small business trends and forecasts for 2021 and beyond.
The Gig Economy
As small businesses embrace the gig economy, owners and managers can hire freelancers to complete specific tasks within specific timeframes. When you allot a short-term project to your contracted worker, it eases the stress, and your staff workload brings flexibility and agility to your budgeting. You can hire as per your need of the time. By phasing out some employment setups for your small business, you can save resources and time by outsourcing expertise and equipment. Starting a side gig can help you create a business without losing an essential source of income from your current job.
The gig economy in the United States grew to around 77 million people in 2020 and is expected to grow even more in 2021. In the United States, 57.3 million people work for themselves. Furthermore, freelancers account for approximately 36% of the total workforce. Thus, the gig economy is only going to get bigger. As a result, you must stay current on marketing trends affecting small businesses.
Millennial Small Business Owners
Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, account for a quarter of the American population. This generation is most likely the most researched. Millennials are the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology, from computers to smartphones and tablets. With all this knowledge, this generation is transforming the world of small businesses. They adapt to the changing technology fast.
This generation has altered the way we conduct business, from pressuring companies to improve their business practices to simply responding quickly to customers via digital channels. In addition, they are more aware of the current social climate because they are collective movers and shakers. As a result, millennial Small Business Owners are in favor of small business trends for 2021 and beyond.
What trends do you foresee in small businesses?
The trends in small business that will continue in 2021 and beyond are remote work will be the new standard, contactless payment options, 5G and AI technology, digitization will accelerate, businesses will continue prioritizing e-commerce.
How new technology helps small business to grow?
Technology allows small business owners and employees to work in the office, on the road, from home, on the road, or even across the country. As a result, technology can assist businesses in gaining a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Why should small businesses adopt new technologies?
The impact of new technology on business operations is significant. It enhances business communication while also optimizing production, inventory management, and financial record-keeping.
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Article | August 23, 2021
The use of smartphone/mobile technology has become the new standard, permeating every area of life. As a result, it gave rise to mobile technology opportunities for businesses.
According to Statista, there are currently 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, which equates to 48.20% of the world's population owning a smartphone. India, China, and the United States have the most outstanding smartphone penetration rates. Between 2016 and 2020, the global smartphone user base rose by 40%.
WARC asserts, by 2025, 72% of all internet users will access the web only through their smartphones.
With the primary data and projections, it is abundantly evident that mobile technology represents the future of the corporate world and commercial innovations. On average, in the United States, four hours of each day are spent on mobile devices, which account for more than half of all online traffic.
COVID-19 created obstacles for many areas of society; many company owners encountered several difficulties operating their businesses because of the limitations imposed, especially small businesses. But, on the other hand, the pandemic provided an unprecedented boost to mobile technology opportunities in every facet of life.
Mobile is gaining traction not just in marketing and retail but also in healthcare and education for convenience and safety reasons, and gradually gaining popularity.
Patients could not visit their doctors during the pandemic but could communicate through text, virtual meetings, or phone calls. Similarly, the education sector saw a dramatic shift in its teaching framework when everything went online. With the increased use of mobile to link teachers and students, mobile technology became an unavoidable factor in the education sector.
Save Time, Save Money
The potential of mobile technology is evident when it saves company owner’s time and money. For example, apps replace paper forms, cloud solutions replace resource-intensive local filing, and scanning and image functionalities assist field-based customer or supply chain personnel.
From mobile applications to the operating systems of mobile devices, there are various ways that mobile technology helps businesses save time and money.
Here are few benefits of mobile technology how they reduce business expenses and time.
Online mobile apps have reduced offline paperwork.
Mobile communication does not include any additional expenses, such as those associated with setting up a landline connection.
Even without being on-site, you may place or confirm business orders over the phone.
You may use mobile banking applications to send and receive paychecks or any other type of payment without visiting clients or banks.
Mobile technology is vital in business, from texting to phoning, sending voicemails, or recording them using VoIP.
Cashless Payment Options
Mobile technology opportunities opened a door for cashless payments. All these years, opting for this mode of payment had been just an option, but it became vital during coronavirus to avoid spreading the virus.
Both online and contactless payment methods gained popularity among both company owners and consumers. With social distancing norms in place, more individuals in established and emerging nations began to embrace contactless payments as a safer method to handle their money
According to Finaria.it, the worldwide digital payments sector is anticipated to reach a value of $6.6 trillion in 2021, a 40% growth in two years. Furthermore, by 2025, mobile payments are expected to nearly double in size and reach a value of $4.6 trillion.
Numerous payment methods exist, including mobile wallets, peer-to-peer mobile payments, real-time payments, and cryptocurrencies. Contactless payments are significantly faster than conventional modes of payment.
Mobile payments generate extra data on a user's habits and interests, which might benefit your marketing team.
Remodel Shopping Experience
The pandemic devastated in-person retail business, and they had to re-establish themselves in the market. Many consumers are comfortable getting access to a personalized in-store experience via mobile devices.
In 2016, 209.6 million Americans shopped online at least once, according to Statista. The number of online shoppers is anticipated to reach 230.5 million by the end of 2021, making the US one of the most developed e-commerce industry-friendly countries.
Looking at the above statistics and the customers' needs, entrepreneurs must meet consumers' demands and help them research, find, and compare items. However, as rising mobile components alter retail, it is critical for businesses to maintain their privacy.
Mobile technology potential is vast and can offer several benefits to consumers. In addition, entrepreneurs can incorporate it into their businesses in an inventive way.
Maintain Orderly Physical Spaces
QR codes date back to 1994, but they never acquired widespread acceptance or were widely used. However, the pandemic's onset altered the entire situation. Because the COVID-19 standards for maintaining distance, avoiding physical contact, and exchanging anything were deemed hazardous, consumers began to prefer digital connections over physical ones. That is when QR code-based payments became the most convenient payment method, requiring only the use of a mobile device.
The pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities for touchless technologies (QR Code being the leading player).
According to a recent poll by Statista, an estimated 11 million homes in the United States alone were predicted to have scanned a QR Code in 2020. This shows an increase from the projected 9.76 million scans performed in 2018.
QR codes are used to make payments as well as place orders. Elimination of physical touchpoints from your business provides a more seamless experience for your consumers.
While the utilization of mobile phones or smartphones is not new, the manner they are used has evolved considerably over the previous five years, particularly during the pandemic. Indeed, the mobile phone has evolved into the most helpful tool/asset for information, communication, purchasing goods, and scheduling.
Rapid advancements in cloud technology increase corporate use of mobile devices by enabling more flexible working habits and remote access to services.
What is the future of mobile technology for business?
The business has a bright future with mobile technologies. Everything is becoming virtual, including the corporate sector, where mobile technology plays a critical role. In addition, mobile technology has aided in the communication of businesses.
What are the effects of mobile technology on entrepreneurs?
Numerous mobile technologies, such as smartphones, mobile applications, and GPS devices, link everyone and enable company owners to stay connected with their consumers. As a result, mobile marketing is gaining traction and assists small businesses in reaching clients, and contributes to increased sales.
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"name": "What are the effects of mobile technology on entrepreneurs?",
"text": "Numerous mobile technologies, such as smartphones, mobile applications, and GPS devices, link everyone and enable company owners to stay connected with their consumers. As a result, mobile marketing is gaining traction and assists small businesses in reaching clients, and contributes to increased sales."
Article | February 17, 2020
How to Make Money in Business with a Side Hustle Gone are the days of searching print ads for a job to make a living. In today’s environment, the internet is at your fingertips, making it easier than ever for small businesses that make money to start. In fact, setting up two streams of income can be a simple task. Just ask yourself: The internet provides ample opportunities to finance and start small businesses that make money quickly. Many of these opportunities use the skills you already have. These skills can be anything from grammar or technical skills to social media skills. For example, a nutritionist could easily make the case for starting a health food company. Meanwhile, an accountant could partner with a software developer to create a better tax preparation service. You may be better positioned than most people to take advantage of an opportunity by leveraging the expertise you already have. Just because you already have a full-time job doesn’t mean you can’t make multiple streams of income through side jobs. As you pursue these jobs, keeping a positive mindset will be a key to your success.
Article | February 26, 2020
You have a lot of responsibility as a small business owner, whether you’re managing numerous people or are a self-employed army of one. You have to worry about expenses, numerous financial statements, tax season and more, all while trying to build your net worth. One of the biggest obligations that looms over the head of nearly every business owner is the thought of debt. Debt can greatly impact the growth capacity of a business, and even worse, it can cause a business to go under completely. Fortunately, there’s a great tool that can help you determine how much debt you can handle and help you understand your company’s general financial health. That tool? The solvency ratio.