Small business trends to watch for the new year
Paying attention to emerging ideas at the start of a new year can spell success for businesses
Every new year ushers in new ideas, new resolutions and new trends. Paying attention to the emerging ideas can be key for business success. Staying on top of predicted trends and shifts can help small business owners stay ahead and take advantage of opportunities to grow. For 2019, here are some national and local trends we at the Nevada Small Business Development Center see having an impact for small businesses.
Keeping up with national trends is vital for knowing what to look for in the business world and identifying opportunities for business growth. This year, there are some major trends revolving around digital media and marketing.
• Personalized marketing strategy: When it comes to marketing a small business, there are many ways to specify who you are targeting. As time moves along, the personalization of marketing strategies is rapidly increasing. In 2019, personalizing online ads to the right audience will be even more crucial to small business success. Consumers today see advertisements everywhere they go, whether they are scrolling online or walking outside. Standing out to your target audience online is crucial for success. Using emerging digital solutions that facilitate ad targeting or simply revamping a content strategy to be more authentic and engaging can really make an impact for small businesses.
• Online reviews: Online reviews are a key component in any business's online presence. Customer reviews are influencing consumer purchases more and more each year. In 2019, roughly 90 percent of consumers will read online reviews before choosing a new business to visit. Knowing this, small business owners who take action and have current customers leave reviews may gain a sales edge. To entice current customers to leave reviews, small business owners can consider offering a free small item or discount for leaving a review online.
• Video advertisements on the rise: When it comes to online advertising, video advertising is one of the best ways to showcase a company. Video provides a more compelling type of content (compared to basic text or photo ads) where consumers can visually see who you are, what you do, and what your product or service provides. According to the Brand Network's webinar, in 2018 65 percent of ad impressions on Instagram were the result of a video ad. Compared to 9 percent in 2015, this suggests that video ads are working for businesses and use of video ads is likely to continue to grow. Small businesses who create compelling video content will be able to engage with consumers in a meaningful way.
Getting in touch with national trends and predictions can help small business owners identify growth opportunities or new strategies to implement. Paying attention to local trends can help small businesses identify immediate business opportunities and potential for local partnership or engagement. This year, in Northern Nevada, we are expecting to see a few shifts in business activity.
• Health and beauty businesses: According to Guidant Financial, 2018 had a 34 percent increase in small businesses being opened in the health and beauty category. This includes businesses such as day spas, salons, CrossFit gyms and nurse practitioners. As each year passes, there is a significant increase in consumers worrying more about self-care and wellness and businesses are popping up to meet that need. With the rise of this demand from consumers as well as the expected continued population growth in Northern Nevada, we see opportunities for health-related businesses to emerge and/or grow.
• Drones in Nevada: Drone technology - and its various possible uses - continues to be a topic of broad interest. Since 2013, the U.S. has announced seven different states that are able to hold test flights for drones. This gives Northern Nevada a unique opportunity to build expertise in this emerging industry. Nevada being one of the allotted seven states, means that drone companies can test their drones, potentially move their businesses here and grow the drone industry within the state. In 2019, we may see growth of existing drone companies and the emergence of new companies as applications for drone technology get proven and adopted.
• Increase of sales and acquisitions: As the region's demographics shift and "baby boomers" prepare for retirement, we may see more business sales and mergers in 2019. Successful businesses may change hands as new entrepreneurs emerge to take on business challenges. Additionally, successful local businesses may acquire new physical space - or new online space - in which to expand their businesses.
Being ahead of the curve as a small business can result in major benefits for the company. Knowing potential trends for 2019 will better prepare small business owners for what is coming. Whether it is gaining online reviews or knowing how to create connections in the local business landscape, these predictions for 2019 can be a great starting point for any local small business. The Nevada Small Business Development Center is a free and confidential resource available to help small businesses. For assistance, please contact one of our statewide offices to set up and appointment to discuss how we can help your business grow. (www.nevadasbdc.org)