Trend-watching is a gamble, and it’s all the more so in business. But it has to be done. How else will small businesses prepare for an often uncertain future? After all, forewarned is forearmed. 2017 was the year of on-demand business models, AI-driven everything and hybrid cloud computing . In 2018, technology will continue to shape small business trends. Here are a few of them: Crowdfunding as a financing tool
In 2016, crowdfunding eclipsed venture capital as the dominant business funding model. Confidence in crowdfunding campaigns has increased this year, thanks to platforms such as Shareholder Academy , which promotes access and transparency. In 2018, you can expect crowdfunding to become a common financing strategy, especially for small businesses. The tech-driven advantage Small businesses are at a unique advantage to leverage leading technology trends to drive business growth. They have the flexibility to experiment with cutting-edge business methodologies and payment solutions, allowing them to respond effectively to a web-based and tech-driven consumer market in ways that large businesses cannot. Focus on cybersecurity Recent cyberattacks have shown that all businesses, not just big corporations , are cybercrime targets. Small businesses have fewer resources to spend on cybersecurity, which places them at a greater risk of being attacked. A focused approach to developing solutions that are accessible to these businesses is the only way forward. Integrated marketing Content marketing is not just for enterprises any more. With a bit of online research and a handful of affordable tools, any small business can benefit from content marketing. It builds trust around a business’s products and keeps a line of communication open between the business and its customers. Video marketing Speaking of content, research shows that video is the best medium to get noticed. Hubspot’s Consumer Behaviour Survey revealed that 55% of users view entire videos, compared with 29% who read blogs through to the end. In 2018, video should take up a bigger share of content marketing strategies if small businesses hope to hold the attention of their consumers.