Yup, it’s June – halfway through the year and all of us are wondering how we got here so quickly. It’s a great time to check in with your business and do a proper inventory on how things are going. If things aren’t going, very well that is, it’s also a good time to try to understand why. Technology, customer behavior and relevant trends in business all play an important role in business success – so what are the trends that are working for others in 2017? Here’s a look:
Transitioning from Selling to Problem Solving
Regardless of your product or service one thing’s for sure: There is a lot of competition in today’s marketplace. Research shows that the most significant way to stand out from your competition nowadays is to become an expert in your field. This means transitioning from a sales oriented focus to one that is determined to solve problems and educate the consumer. How do you do this? One of the most effective ways to educate your consumer is by sharing content marketing materials (blogs, slides, e-books, checklists) that answer the specific questions they are struggling with. Another strategy could be to dig deeper in to your sales process to find ways to educate and understand your customers’ pain points rather than simply try to sell them on your product.
Automation, Automation, Automation
Let technology work for you. We deal with it on a daily basis, sometimes it drives us nuts, sometimes we can’t function without it – but the use of automated software programs that help manage day to day business tasks has become key to staying relevant. Businesses that refuse to update their systems and use technology to streamline will eventually fall behind. Automation software is no longer designed just for large corporations, the variety of options available is making it easier for smaller businesses to reduce manual labor, save time, manage inventory and human resources with a few clicks of a button.
Finding a Niche Market
Any business that has employed this strategy can tell you it absolutely works. Segmenting and targeting a niche market is worth the time and attention to detail it requires to understand a very specific customer. With the Internet at their fingertips consumers are becoming increasingly savvier at searching for very specific solutions – your business’ ability to successfully market to those needs will create a win-win for everyone. This trend takes time, research and understanding the needs of a more specific market segment, but once the legwork is done you will be happy with the results.
Social Media is King
From the perspective of a consumer, we all know this. We stare at our phones day in and day out scrolling up and down, left and right. But how effective is our social media strategy from an entrepreneurial perspective? Many industries have a tough time understanding how to break through the noise on social media and actually reach their consumers. The best way to figure it out is to KEEP TRYING. Try new types of media – videos, memes, infographics etc… Play with different platforms, social advertising, different times of day, and new types of content. It’s basically a huge social experiment and we are all a part of it. I know one thing for sure, if you aren’t trying new things and moving forward, you are definitely moving backwards.
Don’t let this new era of business scare you. Sure, things are changing, customers are changing, technology is changing – but it doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, let it excite you and inspire you to try new avenues and new methods to grow your business. Most importantly, have fun doing it!
About the Author – Rachida is an enthusiastic content marketer, devoted mother and lover of all things ice cream. She specializes in inbound marketing, branding, B2B marketing strategy and payment industry related topics. Rachida and her team strive to provide NTC Texas customers and fans with entertaining and valuable educational resources to find success in all areas of their businesses.
Top Photo Courtesy of Google CC.