Small business trends to think about in 2019
User reviews are more important than ever
In the age of Yelp, Google reviews and TripAdvisor, you should have a level of concern for online reviews. At the very least you need to cultivate a level of respect for the potential impacts these can have on business – both good and bad.
With a phone in every pocket and business details everywhere you look, there is ample opportunity to immediately and with very little effort give glowing reviews or scathing denunciations.
The fear being of course is that when people google your business, they immediately see 1 star reviews – and they will if you have them. This creates an environment where customer service and business integrity becomes more than an important affair in itself – it now becomes negative marketing if you fail.
It’s worth investigating methods of inviting positive reviews and controlling, as best you can, your online scorecard.
Selling directly through social media
However mostly people have used this for marketing a specific landing page on social media by linking back to their website and payment portal.
Nowadays however, there are increasing opportunities to sell directly from social platforms.
Look into platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram Checkout to see how you could target new social channels for direct sales growth without diverting to your website.
Big Data for small business
‘Big data’ has been bandied about for a while now but it has largely remained the domain of larger businesses with the resources, manpower and incentive to know more about client behaviour – and how to exploit it.
Big data is simply the data you can scrape from a variety of customer activities such as website and social interactions, aggregated and then put to use. You use such data to learn more about customer behaviour, wants, needs, trends, timing and purchasing patterns.
Nowadays though, small businesses should be making use of simple Google Analytics and creating basic reports to understand how your client base operates. Solutions like Google Analytics can be invaluable in knowing how to sell and market yourself that much more effectively – without the huge investments that used to be the case. You can use it and other sources of data like social media to make effective, fact driven decisions instead of guesswork.