An article on www.business.com titled “The State of Small Businesses in 2015” (Scuteri, 2015) posted last May 2015 shared the reports by Capital One and The Hartford Financial Services stating that “50 percent of small business owners say current business conditions are excellent or good and 77 percent of small business owners feel their business operations are successful.”
Many believe that small businesses will continue this upward trend of success in 2015. With the new movements emerging in the business arena, the future looks brighter for small businesses. These trends promote teamwork, productivity, efficiency, affordability, and growth. Learn more about them and see if your business has already embraced any of these trends. If not, maybe you’ll find something new that will work for you.
Here are some of the business developments that are seen to benefit small enterprises.
Corporate Social Responsibility:
We have seen how businesses, big or small, have shifted its focus from solely centering on profits to now integrating social responsibility in their business model. Today’s customers also tend to support brands or products that are active and successful in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.
In the perspective of small businesses, aside from engaging members of your team, community building activities help shape and strengthen your team, and provides an opportunity for them to learn the value of working together. The activities also help establish a harmonious relationship between employees and their bosses. And if you’re in a small organization, you would know that having good working relationship contributes significantly in the team’s productivity.
CSR activities also contribute to building your business’ goodwill. For small businesses, having a strong and established good reputation for your business will go a long way. Consumers support businesses who are known to be good members of the community and socially responsible. Such good-natured reputation will be your savior if a publicity crisis happen.
Big Data for Small Businesses:
Big data is more associated with larger companies. It is actually the capacity to do something with this big data that requires a significant amount of investment. It’s the business intelligence that you will generate from it that makes the difference. By definition, big data refers to the large amount of data that is out there but not all data are important or useful for your business. Hence, as a business owner, you have to know how to make all the data you gather work for you.
Industry business experts say that big data will continue to be the basis of competitive strategy for companies. It is the reason behind the upcoming trends, productivity growth, innovation, and consumer behavior. If your business is one of what is classified as a small enterprise, allocating funds to big data and its analysis will help you level up the playing field between your business and the big ones. This is what big data can do for small businesses. Imagine having the same capability as the large companies to understand your market, their behaviors, and being able to find ways to make your products more valuable to your consumer.
Cost efficiency has been the buzzword in business recently, especially with the federal budget constraints. Impacting businesses, especially the small players, the landscape is shifting and is now adapting new business models and execution tactics in order to survive. Small organizations, therefore are either finding ways on how to save or where they can get additional funding for their business. Savings for businesses would mean leaner operations or having outsourced employees is actually turning out to be more cost efficient for many. There are also some small businesses who are spinning this into opportunities providing outsourcing service to other businesses. Now, that’s additional funding for your business.
Local Funding Options
Investment focus now is shifting to local businesses and away from the big guns in Wall Street. Why? Maybe it’s because they feel the increment of their money more compared to investing it to the larger but distant organizations. Whatever the reason may be, this is definitely a gain for smaller businesses.
Small businesses are challenged when it comes to traditional financing and with funds now more available for them through either direct loans, crowdfunding, or direct public relations, they are more confident and feels growth for their company, through the use of local funding, is now within their reach.
If you’re starting your own business and want to save on the office rental concerns, electricity, and other corresponding financial considerations, you might want to learn more about coworking. With coworking, a room or space is a shared space and you share this working environment with all the facilities found in an office – a working table, internet, phone, etc., with others who are also working in the same venue, but not necessarily from the same organization. Coworking provides entrepreneurs and small businesses the working environment of an office by renting only the working space that you will be occupying and not the entire room. They even have boardrooms that you can rent for your meetings.
Learning and Support Resources
The growth and development of the employees is important and beneficial to any businesses. Not only does it help retain your employees, but importantly, their development translates to their productivity for your business. However, trainings and conferences might be expensive for small businesses to invest on. Good thing, there are now online courses that you can turn to. These online courses are provided by reputable universities and organizations and small businesses are encouraged to take advantage of these richness of resources available for you.
What new business trends will your organization embrace? Keep your eyes open and continue to find opportunities to build and strengthen your business. Discover which trend will work best and provide your organization more success in the coming years.