Are you feeling ready for 2019? If not, we hope you can take some inspiration from the top small business trends we are expecting next year.

Remote working

The capabilities for remote working have been around for years, but it is only recently that the benefits for both employer and employee have been in the public discussion and there has been an attitude shift. Employers are seeing productivity levels rise and employees benefit from greater autonomy, a better work-life balance and reduced commuting costs.

Technology and communication are paramount to making sure you reap the benefits of remote working in your business. Some tools that we would recommend starting with, are Skype, Slack, and Trello. By integrating some of these platforms across your whole business you will encourage collaboration between teams, and visibility for remote workers.

If you are considering working with a virtual assistant in 2019, read our top tips here.

Personalised marketing  

The popularity of Alexa and other AI devices this year has resulted in a 70% increase in the last 12 months of personalised search terms. Customers are looking for specific solutions for them, meaning the internet is becoming more conversational. Speak back to your customers by personalising your marketing.

Personalised marketing isn’t just for the big companies; with some savvy data management, an SME communication can have that special personal touch. Whether it’s adjusting your call to actions on your website or utilising your current email marketing platforms (Campaign Monitor, Drip and Mail Chimp all have first name features) to ensure that you’re speaking directly with your customers. This tactic is especially useful in B2C marketing and can deliver more brand affinity and create more engaged customers.

Making tax digital

This trend may be spurred on by the UK government, but the goal of this initiative is to make tax administration more effective, more efficient, and simpler for taxpayers; a great outcome for any business.

Both Sage and QuickBooks are providing online resources to make sure you know exactly what is required for your business and advice on how to do this yourself. Depending on how well organised your tax records are already, it might be quite a big job so it’s best to get started early or ask the experts to get your books in order.

Shared economy

The phrase was only added to the Oxford dictionary in 2015, but the “Shared Economy” has revolutionised the way we buy and sell services. Millennials have been the driving force behind this new economy by craving the on-demand availability which has enabled the likes of Uber, Air BnB and WeWork to become some of the fastest growing companies of this generation.

There is no doubt that in your personal life you utilise the sharing economy; But what about for your business?

The same principles of ease of service and fast results transcends work and lifestyle. One of the shared economy giants, WeWork are enabling businesses of all sizes to pay for the exact amount of workspace they need for a fixed fee. And if that didn’t satisfy the millennials enough, the offices are filled to the brim with beer taps and modern shared working spaces in prime locations globally.

Here at SmartPA, we understand this need for scalable support and quick results. Our monthly contracts mean our clients specify exactly what they need done, and only pay for the time worked, providing clients with a smarter and more productive way to manage their administrative and back office support.

Cloud services

Cloud computing feeds into a few of the trends we have already featured and is an essential for remote working.

Like any new technology the cloud once had a perceived reputation of being a security risk. However, according to a Microsoft SMB study, 94% of small businesses report security benefits after moving to the cloud. The same study predicted that by 2020, 78% of small businesses will be taking advantage of cloud computing. If you have not already, 2019 is the time to understand how the cloud will work for your business.

If you’re looking to grow your business in 2019, cloud computing is an essential, with a Deloitte study showing that small business who utilise cloud grow 26% faster than those who don’t.

Ready to get going? Talk to our team to discuss your business plans for 2019 today.