Demographic trends and population shifts, climate change and a slow economy, are a few of the issues that will drive/hinder SME prospects in 2016. By far, one of the biggest challenges for SMEs is the rapid growth of technology and IT service industries. If your business is stuck in a time warp, or you feel overwhelmed by these changes in technological innovations, you have to act now. Or, your competitors will quickly swat you aside. Consider the following actions to help you succeed.
Apply Bold Leadership –
- Make adjustments and embrace changes in technology – or be at the mercy of the competition.
- Ensure your staff receives ongoing IT training so they can confidently interact with customers using modern communication systems.
- Outsource IT services if time constraints and budget don’t allow for you and/or your staff to do the work efficiently – new technology and systems are essential to growth.
Adapt Your Business Plan
- Visit your business plan regularly – adapt, innovate and diversify if necessary to differentiate and to keep you ahead of your competitors.
- Ensure compliance with new regulatory systems – this could be a potential minefield for security, so seek expert advice and/or outsource.
- Streamline services (not at the expense of innovation) and work to your strengths.
Structure Your Marketing Strategy
- What demographic are you targeting? Get to really know your customers. – What are their shopping and buying preferences? Provide convenience – they expect it.
- Ensure your content is readily accessible and relevant – use video, infographics and images to grab and hold their attention. Online visibility is vital.
- Use Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. to reach existing and potential customers. Target mobile users – mobile usage is massive. Capturing your mobile audience will be key to success.
Network Locally and Globally
- Attend local networking events – learn what other business owners are doing to prepare for the IT influx.
- Make local and global alliances. Share social media marketing platforms to cut costs and extend reach to new customers.
- Expand your business in the global market. The internet offers excellent opportunities for expansion and/or diversification.
By following these guidelines, you will be well on your way to surviving anything the market throws your way in 2016. The potential for growth is immense if you embrace changes in technology. Plan ahead and prepare for success.