Small Business is always changing, and the evolution of its internal practices have been constantly adapting to the new frontier of technological change we currently live in. The technological revolution has brought many benefits, but also many challenges. Among the benefits are the different ways to utilize technology in order to help grow your small business or startup. Often these businesses get left to the wayside as larger corporations are on the frontlines of new technology and can quickly figure out what works best for them. For smaller businesses, on the other hand, may not know these strategies. So, these are a few trends in technology that will be useful in 2019.
An obvious factor of any business is the management of documents, clients, and communication. Often these factors are managed through different software technologies that allow businesses to more adequately address problems. However, it is often the case that each facet of the business is governed by its own software. For example, companies can use Google Drive to store documents across computers/platforms but use Outlook for emails or scheduling. The first trend we will likely see is a unification of software, where companies can use a singular program to manage all facets of their business. This would make their information more secure and would make management easier, not to mention it would save money on program subscription.
On that note, however, the next big trend among business owners is an increasing anxiety about data breaches. Cybersecurity will become an ever more important factor in business as we increase our reliance on computers, the internet, and software programs to do our business. While only a fraction of small business owners believe they are susceptible to a cyber-attack, small businesses make up a majority of the victims in cyber-attacks. Because of this trend, business owners and startups will begin to view the issue of cybersecurity through the lens of a much larger business.
With any business, advertising is a key factor in trying to acquire new customers, and as such, is always changing to reflect the new customer base. Recently, corporations have turned to social media influencers in order to reach their customers. This has proven effective as often people feel these advertisements as more personal, and they come from people that they trust, rather than from a commercial or a printed advertisement. Right now most social media marketing is limited to the makeup and fashion industry, but in 2019 the trend seems to be leaning toward taking over more markets, like food and fitness. Influencer marketing can help your business stand out in the industry and can help you reach a broader customer base.
On that same token, social media marketing is another field under that umbrella. Social media marketing is becoming increasingly helpful as more people have access to these accounts, and as technology expands to target an audience that would be more receptive of your business. Furthermore, recent trends have shown that a majority of people who buy products say they first heard about that product from an advertisement on social media. In 2019, it seems that social media is a new frontier for expanding the business, and while it seems to be a great avenue for revenue generation, we must also keep in mind the many challenges it poses to cybersecurity.
A very recent technological advancement is the onset of the fifth generation on cellular capability, or 5G. 5G is faster than 4G LTE and has little to no delay in data transfer, while 4G does have that delay. While 5G remains infantile in its growth, 2019 may be the year of its introduction, meaning that upon its release, the landscape of data transfer and small business will change along with it.
Finally, the onset of Artificial Intelligence into the realm of Business will forever change the speed at which information is processed and stored. It seems farfetched that small businesses will be able to access this technology any time soon, but as the market for this kind of automation grows, and as people become more reliant on it, we will soon find ourselves readily accepting its benefits. For example, data input can be a task that is incredibly time-consuming, but AI can help make it not only faster but can open up new opportunities for people who spend their days doing that.
This year will be a remarkable year for technology, and its relationship to small businesses. No longer will some of the most important technologies of the last 20 years be limited to enterprises, they will be accessible for everyone, and will make doing business much faster and easier. It is important to keep an eye on these trends so your business can stay ahead of the game.