4 Small Business Trends For 2021

"If you can capture the element of surprise, you're way ahead of the game." — Jay Maisel

If 2020 was the year of disruption and transition for everyday life, 2021 will be a year of continued evolution. An aspect that hasn’t changed this year is competition. This especially rings true for small businesses. Paying attention to the latest small business trends can put you ahead of your competition. With 30 million small businesses in the United States, the competition is fierce. Mastering these trends makes it easier to grow company sales, offer better customer service and operate more effectively, resulting in finally building that loyal customer chain you’ve always wanted. To help you prepare for the coming new year, here are some trends to expect:

1. Increased Reliance On User Reviews

You already know that today’s consumer is highly informed about the products and services they purchase. One of the most powerful tools you can use to influence their decision is the online customer review. Users feel much more comfortable purchasing something that another individual has bought and tried. According to Fan & Fuel, 92% of people are less likely to complete a purchase when there are absolutely no reviews available. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t have the deep pockets when it comes to marketing efforts, so it is crucial to focus on these customer reviews. When real people can advocate your brand online, your business and product become more trustworthy, which will lead to increased sales. 

Graph by Fan & Fuel about customer reviews

Graph by Fan & Fuel

2. Remote Work Is The Future

This comes as no surprise. With the COVID-19 pandemic still rampant, businesses are assessing the need to return to an office. While remote work can present challenges when it comes to collaboration and communication, the majority of those working from home appreciate the flexibility it provides. In addition, remote work means fewer overhead costs. Real estate does not come cheap and small businesses must grow. By eliminating an office to pay for, you could build your company’s savings, or reinvest this money back into your business by upgrading your software or increasing your digital marketing efforts. Overall, staying remote could result in a win-win for you and your business.

3. Mobile-First Communication Will Become The Standard

Cartoon People Collaborating

With a steady increase in remote work, communication has become centered around mobile technologies. Apps for videoconferencing and sending messages will continue to be popular in 2021. Currently, Millennials represent 50% of the workforce. Driven by mobile technology, organizations will need to adapt their communication efforts to keep these employees focused and engaged. This however can affect small business owners in a few ways. To start, your website must be responsive, meaning it needs to change to fit the screen on which it is being viewed on adequately. Second, many job applicants will most likely be applying from their smartphone or computer. If your application process does not accommodate this trend, you may end up losing key candidates to your competitors, and nobody likes the feeling of defeat.

4. Go Green

If you haven’t noticed by now, sustainability has become an important trend within the last few years. Customer pressure to increase global sustainability from reducing single use plastics and cutting carbon emissions is higher than ever before. This has become a result in response to the pandemic. A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group showed that 90% of customers said that they were equally or more concerned about environmental issues after the pandemic than before. With that, rethink your operations and products and their environmental impact. Make these changes now, publicize your efforts, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits in 2021.

Preparing Your Business For 2021

2020 has been an extraordinary year, no doubt. Regardless of how your business fared this year, it is critical to begin preparing for 2021. To set yourself up for success, always keep an eye out for these trends. In addition, set aside time to evaluate what worked well, and what didn’t. By leading the way and adapting to viable trends early, your business will have the edge to stay ahead of the competition.



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