Small and Medium Business Tech Trends for 2014
There’s no telling what technology will look like in one year (let alone one month). Some trends are discernible, however. So what’s in store for small and medium businesses in 2014?
Every year, Massachusetts-based SMB Group comes up with the year’s Top 10 SMB Technology Market Predictions, with a primary focus on emerging technologies, collaboration, and social media solutions. Here are three predictions from this year’s list (for the full listing, click here).
With Technology, Progressive SMBs Soar Ahead
Back in 2011, SMB Group identified the Progressive SMB segment. These businesses invest heavily in technology, view it as a business enabler, and are more likely than other SMBs to expect revenue growth. Many would say they’re “on the cutting edge.” As technology continues to change what, where, and how people do their best work, this segment’s adoption of cloud, mobile, social, and analytics will only accelerate. As it does, they will not only continue to outpace peers, but also reshape what it means to be an SMB.
Social Media Marketing Efforts are Stalled and Evaluated
SMB Group research shows that more than half of small businesses and more than two-thirds of medium businesses use social media for marketing purposes. Clearly, SMBs understand the importance of social media. But a toll has been taken. Creating fresh content and keeping up with continual changes can be difficult and time-consuming. SMB Group predicts that this year, SMBs will focus more on what networks and content truly connect with their target audiences. Once gaining a better understanding, SMBs will decide whether to become more strategic about their efforts, or pursue more of the marketing basics—surveys, competitive analysis, email marketing, conferences, and events.
New Payment Systems Create New Opportunities
Although checks and credit cards remain the top forms of payment accepted by SMBs, new payment methods are increasing in use and importance. According to SMB Group, 27 percent of small businesses and 43 percent of medium businesses already equip employees with mobile payment processing solutions, and about 25 percent of SMBs intend to add this capability over the coming year. As outside companies develop more intuitive and easy-to-use payment solutions, more SMBs will recognize that having the capability to accept and process a broader range of payment methods can help attract more customers, earn new business, and even enter new markets.
What kind of influence might these potential trends have on your business? What about your office and the people who occupy it? As Ryan Anderson, our Director of Future Technology, notes, “Understanding these new behaviors will allow architects, designers, facility managers, and manufacturers to usher in a new era of workplace design.”
To learn more about technology, and changes to worker behavior, read here.