Technology and Market Trends affect small business every day. See how these 5 key small business & market trends might impact you.
The article "5 Small Business Technology & Market Trends for 2019" sponsored by Salesforce Essentials and published in Small Business Trends highlights important trends.
"It's common to hear how large global brands are affected by business and technology trends like artificial intelligence, changing customer expectations, and data privacy concerns. But, how do these trends affect the much more numerous small businesses?... We surveyed more than 2,000 small business owners and leaders across the globe [and here are the findings]"
Importantly, there are several pros and cons for running a business as a side hustle.
When starting a business, millennials and Gen Zers are 188% more likely to have the aim of creating a side business.. [and] 48% more likely to say they started their business because they had an idea they were passionate about bringing to the marketplace
First, the Pros of a side hustle are fulfillment and income. Millennials and Gen Zers are starting off with more debt. For instance, most have student loan debt. Debt overhang is much more prevalent with these generations than with past generations. Thus, it creates the need for a second income. Plus, these generations are looking for more personal fulfillment in what they do.
In contrast, the Cons of a side hustle are simple. Any side hustle is by definition not someone's main focus. This lack of focus can lead to suboptimal results. The second is burnout. Importantly, you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before there is no more candle left to burn.
Small business owners are personally responsible for an average of 4.2 roles.
Therefore, their focus is key. Conversely, it also speaks to the con of a side hustle. While self-discipline is critical, it is not the only factor driving success. People skills, communication, and market knowledge are all important.
When it comes to technology, it's the value that drives decision making. Small business owners are busy. With 4.2 roles to perform, it's not a surprise when they say ease of use, simplicity, and speed are as critical, if not more, than price when making a decision on purchasing technology.
Both of these tools are important and are top technology budget items for small businesses. This isn't a surprise. Managing your revenue and your finances are key success criteria for any small business. Poor CRM or financial management may be killing your growth.
Right now, AI is more hype than reality for most small business owners. Between 2 and 3% of small business owners use an AI service. For example, 3% use automated service chatbots, with roughly the same number for lead prioritization and predictive audiences. Small business owners project that they will use AI services more often in the future, 25% or more say that they will use one or more of these services in the next 3 years. Whether or not, that becomes reality will depend on the value and effectiveness of these programs. Beware of scams, this areas is ripe with them.
When it comes to side hustles, it's important to weigh the benefit of the bump in revenue vs. the time commitment and focus required to be successful. When it comes to technology, it's important to gauge the value of the services provided. CRM and financial software are solid bets. AI enable technologies probably need a bit more time to demonstrate their value before jumping in.
Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkedIn profile