As employee behaviors, customer expectations, and available technology changes, the business world evolves. The businesses that spot these trends should take advantage of them. They stand to benefit much more than their larger counterparts. More and more, businesses are recognizing the importance of “getting eyeballs on their website” and developing strategies to make that happen.
There’s often more variation—and less conformity in small business. As a result, organizations that find ways to adapt will most definitely shift realities. Their business objectives will gain ground quickly as a result. That’s just one example. Here are a few of the biggest trends happening right now in the world of small business management. We all know the best way to capitalize on an emerging trend is to understand its surrounding context.
Recent advancements in technology have made it so much easier to manage a team of remote workers. Project management tools allow supervisors to assign tasks, chart progress and allow employees to collaborate organically. No matter where they are. The “distributed team” model, as it’s sometimes called, makes sense, for a workforce increasingly skewing millennial. These twenty-and early thirty-somethings are used to cranking out work on a laptop, be it in their home business, local coffee shop, or even the desk in their bedroom. A business management model that can accommodate remote workers like these is able to cast a wider recruiting net, and that alone has the potential to trim any overhead costs associated with running a full office.
A recent Freelancing in America (FIA) study since 2014, states that the freelance workforce grew at three times the speed of the overall workforce. Freelancing is in, and if the current growth rates hold, freelancers will be the majority of the workforce. This pivot gives employers the flexibility of a sliding-scale. During busy stretches, you may want to give your go-to contractors more hours. And in cold spells, you need not worry about paying a large team. This will allow small businesses to save on the benefits of having a full-time staff.
Competing in a Tight Labor Market
Companies will be hard-pressed to fill empty positions right now because the unemployment levels are at an all-time low. Less than four percent actually, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Larger corporations have a range of powerful incentives like higher salaries, weeks of paid vacation, stock options, and other lavish benefits, in hopes of reeling in the few competitive candidates that are out there. The odds are stacked against the small business model in this regard. To respond, they need to be creative and resourceful. Try to offer candidates perks that big corporations can’t, like immediate room for growth, a startup mentality, and even (slightly) fewer work hours.
Analytics is the process by which programs crunch all those figures and statistics to give us clear, digestible visualizations and predictions. Small businesses that are embracing analytics and not being afraid of them can learn more about their productivity. Things like efficiency, revenue, customer experience, and retention, all can be analyzed. The more old-fashioned business owners, and mom and pop shops are continuing to resist.
Home Service Software
A slew of cloud-based systems is cropping up for organizations of all sizes. These include customer relationship managers (CRMs), workforce management systems (WMS), and work order management systems (WOMS), to name just a few. These programs give managers greater control, visibility, and flexibility, and help track sales and revenue in transformative ways. The type of platform that may be the best fit for smaller businesses, is field service management (FSM). This software combines the customer and sales data found in CRMs, with the scheduling and personnel tracking capabilities provided by WMS. FSM platforms help small businesses rapidly grow. Making business more productive, and efficient, yielding actionable insights about revenue and costs.
Want to get a better understanding of how software like this works? Read more here.
WHERK is a new FSM software built for small businesses. Its extensive suite of functionalities are easily adaptable, and it features a sophisticated-yet-intuitive mobile application. The software works perfectly for the plumbers, HVAC pros, repairmen, hairdressers, and maintenance workers that keep small businesses thriving. Feel free to visit the WHERK website to learn more.