It’s that time of year again when everywhere you look, there’s a new trend set to impact your company.

If you actually took all the pundits’ advice, your organisation would be unrecognisable every time January rolled around. Instead, owners need to identify which small business trends are worth buying into to get the greatest return on investment. We’ve rounded up all the best recommendations to give you three we think warrant your attention the most:

1. Introducing new products and services

Stagnation can be a corporate death sentence. This is especially true in highly competitive industries where differentiation comes in the form of branding or excellent customer service. To continue to gain market share, organisations are breaking through the monotony by releasing new products and services.

Most small businesses plan on releasing a new product or service.

This line of thinking is the No. 1 goal for small business owners in 2018, with 38 per cent of respondents citing it in a Microsoft survey. It’s important to recognise that not all companies are reinventing the wheel here; many are simply providing consumers with more ways to interact with their product or get in touch with support staff.

It’s likely that the innovation small business owners are searching for will be digitally based. Working with IT consultants can help you identify areas of your company that could benefit from adopting new technological solutions, or which tools fit best with your future plans.

2. Going mobile

Roughly 60 per cent of all small business that have been in operation for less than a year conduct work on mobile, according to Microsoft.

LOOKUP is a Microsoft Gold Partner.LOOKUP is a Microsoft Gold Partner.

This is also backed by the fact that while in-person meetings (51 per cent) are still the preferred means of communicating with clients or co-workers, email (43 per cent) and texting (29 per cent) aren’t very far behind. Employees need to be able to access information and collaborate with others from anywhere nowadays, and many are choosing mobile devices to do so.

Ensure that your business is prepared for this shift by giving your staff access to internal information on the road. Tablets connected to Office 365 are an ideal solution as it gives personnel all the tools they have at their desk, but from anywhere in the world. LOOKUP is a Microsoft Gold Partner, and can help your company easily incorporate Office 365 and its many functions. Relying on the cloud is key to enabling employees to retrieve anything they need at a moment’s notice.

3. Increase in hiring

Roughly nine out of every 10 companies are expecting to hire at least one new staff member in 2018, the Microsoft survey found. Unfortunately, budget constraints were also one of the major concerns, which can hinder any efforts to bring in new talents.

Managed services is a cost-effective alternative to hiring new staff.

It’s clear that businesses will be increasing their digital presence next year, but that can be difficult without the right team in place. Instead, many organisations are finding IT managed services providers to be an effective way to incorporate the latest technology trends, without the associated financial burden.

In fact, experts predict that this on-demand business-to-business market will on expand moving forward, according to Forbes. Companies are able to easily purchase the resources they need without having to worry about the potential of being saddled with a liability down the line. Small enterprise owners should look to outsourcing IT as a means of bringing on new talent while sticking to the budget.

Interested in incorporating these trends in 2018? Contact a LOOKUP representative today to learn more.

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