A new year is here, and it’s a time when experts and business
professionals try to see into the future and predict economic and business
trends. Because small business owners are busy wearing so many everyday hats,
it’s essential that they also keep an eye on the road ahead. By anticipating
trends, they can make it easier to grow their company, operate more
effectively, and stay competitive.
Let’s take a look forward to see what top concerns will impact
small businesses in 2020:
satisfaction will matter—a lot
Back in the “old days,” businesses
considered word-of-mouth advertising to be the most credible marketing tactic.
People tend to believe real-life experiences over what a company says about
That makes sense, but businesses that wait for
a positive review to come their way may find themselves falling behind. That’s
because online user reviews are taking over and will only continue to grow in
number and importance.
According to 2019 research from Qualtrics, 93% of people read reviews
to decide if they will buy from local businesses. A few bad reviews aren’t
ideal, but not having any reviews at all is even worse. The research shows that
80 of buyers will back out of a purchase after seeing a particularly bad
review, but 90 percent of buyers will not purchase a product or service if it
has zero reviews.
It’s clear that a healthy collection of user
reviews will be crucial for future business success. Fortunately for small
business owners with limited marketing budgets, getting online user reviews can
cost you nothing at all. If you haven’t already, start encouraging your
customers to leave reviews on your social media sites. On average, 68% of customers
say they will leave reviews, and all you have to do is ask!
happy is more challenging
The complement to getting more customer feedback
is receiving four and five-star reviews. You can achieve that by providing
excellent customer service. But, accomplishing that feat in 2020 may be
daunting as customer expectations escalate.
Companies like Amazon keep pushing the envelope
and taking down barriers that stand between their services and customer
happiness. Small businesses can compete by focusing on customization and
innovation. Today’s customers are looking for companies to meet their
personalized needs and rapidly provide new and enhanced products and services.
Thriving businesses in 2020 will need to stay
in touch with their customers’ expectations via user reviews and remain agile enough to meet
customers’ evolving needs.
The stakes are
rising for finding and keeping talent
The unemployment rate is expected to continue
to stay low this year. That’s good for the economy, but challenging for small
business leaders looking for talented people. Not surprisingly, many small
business owners report recruiting and retaining employees as one of their most
significant pain points for 2020.
For small businesses to be competitive in
recruiting and hiring, they will need to offer what today’s employees want: to
be happy at work! Happiness is not necessarily defined by bigger paychecks, but
by an engaging and enjoyable place to work.
Keeping good employees is not the only reason
for catering to their happiness. How satisfied employees are with their work
situation is also tied to productivity. According to one study,
happy employees can boost productivity 10 to 25 percent!
costs of keeping the right talent will also rise
If 2020 is a year small businesses will be
adding to their staff, it will also be a year of mounting employee costs.
Providing adequate benefits and perks will be a top concern for employers.
To control these costs, more small
business leaders will look to hire freelancers or engage with contract labor outsourcing
solutions. Doing so will allow them to find the expertise they need without
incurring excess expenses.
If you’re a business owner in the Greater
Cincinnati area wanting to manage these challenges better, take a look at Ohio
Valley Goodwill. Our flexible and efficient outsourcing solutions in Cincinnati
can help you keep customers happy (and encourage those five-star online
reviews!) Our highly-motivated workforce can provide skilled services without
the need for recruiting, hiring, and training expenses. And because Goodwill is
a non-profit, our outsourcing solutions are cost-effective, which may help you
reduce overhead costs.
Outsourcing with Goodwill is not just about saving money; it’s
about doing a good thing
At Ohio Valley
Goodwill, our mission is to provide job training and meaningful work to
individuals with disabilities and veterans. When you entrust your contract
labor needs to our outsourcing solutions, you further that mission, empower
your business, and enhance our collective community. Contact us
learn more and receive a free quote!