2018 has proven to be a year full of promise and expectation for small businesses. Financial markets are looking up, funding is more available, and opportunities abound. Technological trends and advancements have also kept pace making it easier and cheaper for even the tiniest businesses to harness bleeding-edge technologies to their benefit.
What this means is competition is bound to become stiffer as competitive advantages become eroded. As a small business owner, you will need to stay ahead of the competition by doing things most other small businesses are not paying attention to. In this article, we highlight three of these areas which small businesses are overlooking, and which can net you some nifty gains over the course of the year.
Most small businesses start with basic payment options and somehow get stuck there. They expect to upgrade their payments as they grow. However, if they do not grow quickly enough, changes at the till become relegated to the backburner. To get ahead, you need to make payments a priority. First, you need to work with a reputable payments company like Simpay card processing, so you know your card payments work seamlessly and securely.
Next, you need to be ready to accept contactless payments like NFC. While these are not mainstream yet, large tech companies like Google and Apple are pushing for their adoption. Lastly, you should also consider mobile payments which are slowly but surely gaining traction among consumers.
- Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of those strategies that is so well known that most people take it for granted. They do so to their detriment. SEO offers an easy and accessible way of boosting online visibility without the hefty price tag of other techniques like online ads. If you are a small business, your focus should be on dominating your market niche via SEO.
This focus requires obsessive attention to detail, incessant iteration of SEO activities and an overall buy-in from founder to frontline employee. To dominate SERPs in 2018, focus on local search SEO, quality content, and mobile optimization of your website.
- Social Media
Social media is huge and evolving. While in the past Facebook was synonymous with social media, recent developments show there is a steady migration of certain demographics off the platform to other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. As a small business, you need to be cognizant of these social media trends as they may affect your social media marketing campaigns.
Also, you will need to focus more on tactics like hashtag marketing and micro-influencer marketing to get ahead of the competition. Social media in 2018 is shaping up to be a slightly different ballgame from previous years as the technology matures and audiences lose the initial excitement that came with the advent of the platforms.
While almost half of 2018 is gone, there remains ample time for small businesses to right their ships and better align themselves with success. Taking advantage of these obvious but poorly executed areas can prove advantageous to intrepid small businesses willing to push beyond the basics.