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Top 5 business trends for small businesses in 2020

As a small business operating within the noisy European business landscape, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest business trends.

Based on insights from the Freshcaller Blog, we provide you with the top 5 small business trends for 2020 to help guide you in navigating the business space you currently operate in.

To find out what these trends are, keep reading below:

1. Artificial intelligence

We’ve all heard about chatbots in social media or other chat tools to help support customers in their experience.

While artificial intelligence (AI) such as this is seen by many business owners as one of the keys to increasing customer satisfaction, it’s important to remember that AI should be used in conjunction with and not in contrast to the human touch.

Nevertheless, AI is bound to make a huge impact on businesses as they increasingly seek to automate the customer journey to make the user experience even easier. 

One instance of using AI as a business tool is in businesses’ social media pages and chatbots are a great example of this. 

AI can also be implemented on a business’ website through the setup of predefined greeting messages or offer quick answers to frequently asked questions. 

This takes away the need for tedious and repetitive human tasks and can help redirect users to the right page or get the answer they’re looking for easily using technology. 

In addition, AI can be a powerful tool for social media marketers as it enables them to get closer to their audience and understand their preferences.

Targeting ads becomes easier and better as this drives the way content for these channels is created.

2. Customer reviews

The second trend you, as a business owner, will want to keep track of is customer reviews.

Word-of-mouth and subsequently, reviews, will be the way in which customers will seek to make their choices about selecting a service provider or purchasing products. 

That’s why sites like Trustpilot, Google My Business, Yelp or ReviewCentre will become crucial for your business.

You’ll want to manage negative reviews as quickly as they arise in order to stop the spread of negativity. 

Meanwhile, you can use positive reviews to boost your brand’s reputation.  

You can acquire positive reviews by following some of the best practices on the market. 

These include asking customers for their reviews and placing this on your review brochure, product packages, on your website or your social media channels.

3. Remote work

The phenomenon of working from home is going to rise. 

Whether it’s due to the pandemic or not, remote offices are going to increase as business owners increasingly seek ways of cutting regular costs. 

There are multiple apps and software solutions that can help you organise your remote work. These range from Skype and Zoom for online meetings to Google Docs for shared and collaborative work that’s cloud based.

Project management systems like Trello, Asana or Jira will also come in handy when seeking to track the status of projects that you and your team are working on.

The new trend of working from home is also a great way of hiring global talent for your business as you will be able to take advantage of the world’s top minds from a distance. 

With the rise of communication technology, meetings will be easier to conduct, while the internet will continue to keep us connected. 

Some of the best practices to working from home include:

  1. Get dressed for work like you normally would
  2. Find a comfortable space where you can work
  3. Drink plenty of water and avoid eating junk food
  4. Ensure effective communication with your colleagues
  5. Find what works best for you – perfect silence or your favourite soundtrack

With technology at your fingertips and a solid foundation of practices for working from home, remote work will get easier and even more popular. 

In fact, Twitter recently announced that it will allow all its employees to work from home even after the passing of the pandemic.

4. Personalised customer experiences

Because of all the competition on the marketplace, whether physical or online, customers are faced with a lot of “noise” from everyone trying to sell them something different.

If you’d like to stand out from the crowd, you should consider tailoring your offering to your customers’ specific needs.

Personalised customer experiences will become the most sought-after experience in the consumer journey.

That’s why you should ideally work towards making your customers feel special and unique by catering to their specific needs.

Some steps to achieving this include using your customer’s name when addressing them, implementing a loyalty program, being human in your communication with clients, collecting various customer data so that you can get a profile of them and tailor your solution to their needs, and making recommendations, among others. 

Examples include Amazon’s product recommendations, Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign which used names of individuals on their bottles and cans to appeal to a wider audience, Spotify’s account customisation, Grammarly’s weekly reports, Starbucks’ gamified app and more.

5. Stories in social media

We are all aware of the power of social media for businesses.

From building brand identities to increasing awareness about new products or services, social media is a great tool for connecting with your consumers. 

They may leave a positive review for your business, or a negative one that you should respond to immediately or as soon as possible.

But ultimately, social media is a must these days.

In line with this train of thought is the concept of stories on social media.

These are short bursts of information that are available for a limited period of time.

They can be very catchy and influential – whether leading customers to your business’ landing page or getting them to open your latest blog post.

Stories are going to play an increasingly important role in your social media strategy, so don’t take them for granted, and rather make the most of them now.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we tried to highlight some of the most important trends that small businesses will need to consider going forward in 2020.

We hope we’ve armed you with informative tools to help you make the best decisions for your business!

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