Stay Up-to-Date with Current Market Conditions and Trends

Are you a small business owner? Keeping up with all of the current market conditions and new trends can be a rabbit hole for most. It also causes FOMO big time. How do you keep up without changing your own niche? Let’s talk about how to cherry pick the ever-changing trends to promote your business because at the end of the day, you will better understand what your customers are looking for and how to address their needs. Who doesn’t want more customer, better reviews, loyalty, and customer retention?

Based on the trajectory of the business landscape in recent years, there are several trends that are likely to continue shaping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in 2024:

  • Sustainable Business Practices: Sustainability will likely remain a key focus for SMBs. Consumers are increasingly environmentally conscious, and businesses that demonstrate eco-friendly practices in their operations, sourcing, and products can attract a loyal customer base.
  • E-commerce Innovation: The e-commerce landscape will continue to evolve. SMBs will likely focus on enhancing online shopping experiences, incorporating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, and optimizing mobile transactions. Alternative payment methods have also become available for smaller businesses for awhile now and are widely used by younger customers.  When adopting these methods, see the next bullet point about Cybersecurity.  Your reputation depends on it.
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity: With the rise of digital transactions and data-driven marketing, SMBs will invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect customer data. Compliance with data protection regulations will be a priority.
  • Adopting Innovative Technology: See above first. So while you are investing in robust cybersecurity for incoming data from customers, remember to protect your own data as well. In the past, robust security was only affordable for big business, but not anymore. You must protect your customer.  You must protect your business.
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  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Integration: SMBs will leverage AI for tasks such as customer service chatbots, data analysis, and process automation. AI technologies can enhance efficiency and provide better customer experiences. Basically, personalized experiences will be the go to methods for SMB’s to stand out.
  • Flexible Work Models: Remote and hybrid work arrangements will likely continue to be prevalent. SMBs will invest in technologies that support collaboration among remote teams and focus on employee well-being and work-life balance.
  • Supply Chain Resilience: Recent global events have highlighted the importance of resilient supply chains. SMBs may diversify suppliers, invest in technology for real-time tracking, and adopt agile inventory management strategies.
  • Local and Community Focus: Supporting local communities and engaging with customers on a local level will remain important. SMBs may participate in community events, collaborate with local charities, and emphasize their local roots in marketing efforts.
  • Reward Your Loyal Customers: Loyalty punch cards have been around a long time, but to be serious about rewarding your customers, you need to go a bit further. When I go to my nail salon, I check in on a digital device with my phone number. It immediately tells me how many loyalty points I have accumulated. When I check out, they ask me if I want to use them.  I’ve used this for years at Walgreens, but now small business has jumped on the bandwagon and I’m here for it. Make sure you have a referral program as well. 
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  • Health and Wellness: The health and wellness industry is expected to continue growing. SMBs in this sector, including fitness studios, healthy food providers, and mental health services, may experience increased demand.
  • Subscription-Based Models: Subscription services for various products and services are likely to expand. Subscription models provide a predictable revenue stream and foster customer loyalty.
  • Rise of Niche Markets: SMBs catering to specific, specialized markets or demographics will continue to emerge. Personalized products and services tailored to niche audiences can create a dedicated customer base.
  • Social Media Marketing: Creating engaging content that followers will actually like, comment and share is the bane of SMB’s.  Why? Because it’s very time consuming. The keyword to tackling this is DELEGATE! Hire creatives.  Seriously, put this in your budget. You do not have to advertise so much as working with micro influencers and reach out to loyal clients to generate content. If you want to enhance brand credibility, use these strategies.

Remember, the specific trends that will be most relevant to your business can depend on your industry, location, and target audience. It’s crucial to conduct market research and stay updated on the latest developments in your specific field to make informed business decisions. Let me know if you need help with market research and strategy. It’s my SUPERPOWER!

Margaret Croom