Top Five Small Business Trends 2017

As the business world continues its path escorted by new technology, it’s becoming more of a pain to keep up with all the current and ever-changing small business trends that influence enterprise models. Not everyone has the time to attend the entrepreneurial conferences going on like SaaS Annual or Startup Grind Global. It’s too time-consuming.

Still, these conferences are where all the relevant marketing data and insider information is passed around before becoming influential enough to become true small business trends. Things like statistics for millennials becoming the primary spenders for the pet industry. Or, the newest software launches designed to expedite sales are all unveiled here.

For most franchise owners, attending these conferences is just about as important as having an inflatable tube man advertising your small business. (It’s not). Reputable franchisees stay up to date with all the happenings of these conferences. From there they can supply their partners with insightful information to keep the whole company updated and competitive. So, as the summer of 2017 draws to a close what should small business owners be paying attention to?

If it Didn’t Happen on Social Media, It didn’t happen

One of the strongest small business trends that isn’t going anywhere is the relevancy of social media. For small business owners, your social accounts are your best friends. As social media itself expands with even more integrated features, the free marketing platform becomes easier to use for business purposes. Announcing events, promotions, and retail sales are as easy as posting. The best feature of social media is that it’s all free. The big three—Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all free to use.

Franchise owners have it easy when it comes to social marketing. Not only can they use social media to keep in touch with their local customers, but corporate social media platforms maintain the digital presence of the entire brand. Even a small business’ retail experience can be crafted to be shareable material.

As the future becomes the present, it is clear that social media isn’t going anywhere and organic and friendly social media posts are one of the best ways to reach customers.

Automated Back Office Systems Make it Easier

Without having the technology that can automate internal systems, many small business owners are left in the dust. Don’t be one of these owners! Automation has been making things easier for decades but is becoming more of a normative in 2017.

The Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique franchising model uses proprietary software that automates a majority of the back-office tasks. This frees up shop owners to focus on the important things. This also reduces payroll because employees aren’t forced to do repetitive tasks and productivity is streamlined. This organization makes it easier for employees to do their job systematically.

Software levels the playing field. This leveling makes it easier for franchise shops and other small businesses to compete with multinational corporations in the same industry.

Content Marketing or Bust

One of the trendsetters of small business trend pretenses is the work of the band Radiohead. Not the music—the promotional methods.

In 2016, the band pushed marketing forward 20 years by innovating what content marketing could really look like. The musicians were gearing up to release their ninth album. Instead of doing the traditional marketing for an album release–music video releases, interviews, churning out conventional content marketing—they erased their online presence. No website, no social media, nothing—all traces of Radiohead gone.

This cryptic move made everyone but the band responsible for driving content marketing for their soon-to-release album. Twitter erupted asking about the mysterious disappearance of the band’s online presence. Every entertainment magazine ran a piece questioning the band’s decision and if this meant Radiohead would be releasing their anticipated new album. The trap was sprung and the new album’s sales skyrocketed. Radiohead’s entire promotion campaign was fueled by a genius marketing gimmick of Jimmy Hoffa-like proportions. The band’s legions of galvanized fans and marketing experts alike praised their efforts for being decades ahead of the time.

The Importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The only reason many people are still talking about SEO’s importance is that Google is forcing them to. We all know it’s important, and just about think we’ve reached a consensus of how to improve our rankings, then Google throws a curveball in the algorithm.

As recently as the end of June there have been fluctuating SERP (Search Engine Result Page) rankings making everyone question if a new algorithm update was being rolled out. Google CEO, John Mueller, offered this Tweet, “Yep! We make updates all the time!” Mueller should just keep this comment on an automated loop because that’s his response to every Google update—vague and not all that helpful.

With every game-changing SEO standard, it’s important for small business owners to keep up with the trends and rank strongly with good SEO. Another advantage of partnering with a franchise is corporate will do all of this for you! Not surprising when Forbes reports that, “the percentage of small business owners using a website analytics tool sits below 39 percent; only 25 percent use customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage their touchpoints.”

Customer Experience is the Heartbeat to Small Business

The proliferation of instant access to information has pushed consumers to demand deep knowledge from all customer service representatives. This surge will continue through the year. Sales staff of small business owners need to be able to answer questions on rates, terms, and provide follow-up support. Consumers expect to be directed to content material that provides context for their purchase.

Technology is playing its role in customer interaction. Many small business owners will need to start using CRM software if they haven’t already. Software like Hubspot or Pipedrive are the most popular of these tools. Using these systems allows for engaging customer experience before the customer even walks in the door. CRM software allows sales staff to anticipate the questions and needs of customers.

What Do All These Small Business Trends Mean?

For many small business owners, keeping up with the flux of small business trends seems overwhelming. As the playing field levels, it takes the same amount of efforts the big guys have to compete. The thing is, small business owners don’t have a marketing team, a whole floor of SEOs running analytics, and an army of salesman driving company revenue.

This is why franchising has become popularized for eager entrepreneurs. New systems of business are more complex and require more expert attention. A 2017 small business marketing trends report showed that “47 percent of small business owners have zero insight into whether their marketing efforts are effective.”  With the life expectancy of a new business closing before the first three years, many entrepreneurs will want all the expertise they can get. Good business isn’t trial and error. It’s having the proficiency to scale and compete.

Partnering with a corporate team who handles national marketing, SEO, and software driven aspects of business will free up owners to focus on the segment of business that is right in front of them. Franchising isn’t the only way to keep up with the small business trends that ensure success, but it is definitely less frustrating schematic than going solo.

With the right partnership, entrepreneurs can experience new financial freedom. Credible franchises have pre-established locations already tested in the market. All the fine-tuning of business systems has already happened. This gives owners a newfound independence. Money, scheduling, and lifestyle are all controlled on your terms.

You are your own boss.


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