Nothing gives a small business a boost quite like riding a trend. It may not last forever, but you don't need it to. Just getting in on the ground floor can push your numbers ahead enough to make relying on trends less important. Spotting them early is of the utmost importance. If you're not taking advantage of them or even making an effort to identify them, you're only crippling your company.
1. Subscription Plans
No small business can thrive if they're focused on just getting one good sale. To cement a positive future, you'll want to get recurring revenue as soon as possible. In most cases, this boils down to getting return customers. However, most companies have realised that one-time fees aren't necessarily affordable for many people, limiting their reach.
Enter subscription plans. Instead of offering products that are only bought once in a blue moon, your small business can opt to switch to a monthly fee. This will not only increase your audience reach, it'll serve as recurring revenue that you can build on.
2. Chat Bots
One of the most expensive parts of your small business will revolve around customer service representatives. You can't go cheap on it - if your team is too small, the quality of service will suffer. If it's too big, you're basically throwing money away.
Chatbots can provide a great solution to that problem. Instead of hiring a team that could vary in size, you'll instead hire programmers. If you are so inclined, you can expand your bots' reach to include email and automated replies on comments. Not only will it free up your capital, it'll become an easily measured expense.
3. Live Streaming and Scripted Video
Live streaming and scripted videos are rapidly becoming more and more relevant in the marketing world. Modern mobile phones can handle the load of HD videos, and high-speed Internet is as common as bottled water. While podcasts still have value, more and more small businesses have invested in video equipment. You don't need to break the bank to have a good setup. A single camera and a good computer can take you far.
4. Marketing Through Text
The average person will have their mobile device within reach at any given moment, making it a powerful marketing avenue for the savvy small business owner. Texting, in particular, has become commonplace. People are more likely to positively respond to a text than a call due to the lack of intrusion it has on the recipient. Utilising business texts to send deals or customer service responses can boost your response rate.
5. Personalisation and Customisation
One of the most long-standing trends in business history, personalisation, is getting a makeover. With the advent of high-speed Internet, it's a sin not to have your site customised to each user. At the very least, you should make an effort to localise currency and time-zones, two things that are doable even if they haven't been to the site before. You can further utilise this by offering different levels of service according to the user's budget.
These trends won't be around forever, so get your small business involved as soon as possible. The sooner you get on it, the more competitive you'll be. And don't settle for just this wave of trends. There will always be more, so keep your eyes open.