According to statistics, about 50 percent of SMBs don’t have a website, even in this day and age. Still, where some see a problem, others see a possibility. You see, as a small business owner, there is nothing that goes in your favor more than a competition that doesn’t understand the spirit of the time. Needless to say, you can make this gap even greater by investing your time and resources into becoming a truly tech-savvy business owner. Here are six trends that should help you get there in no time and start off 2018 on the right foot.

Remote workforce

Opting for the remote workforce has more than one advantage for SMBs, and it can definitely facilitate their growth. First of all, when you opt for remote workers, you are no longer confined to your own region when it comes to the talent pool. This way, you are able to hire people from all over the world, which gives you greater choice, as well as greater leverage in your hiring policy and requirements. Second, you can save money on buying the equipment and covering travelling expenses for your employees. Last but not least, you can afford to lease a much smaller office or even run your SMB from home.

Big data and business intelligence

The world of modern business is getting more and more data-driven, which is why you need to find a way to exploit this trend to your advantage. With modern business platforms, you can gather an unprecedented amount of data on your clients; however, this is only the beginning of your journey. All of this data needs to be processed before it becomes actionable information, and for this, you need the tools for predictive analytics. Of course, we are talking about appropriate business intelligence software. With the rise of the IoT (internet of things), big data is expected to start playing an even greater role in the data-driven business world we discussed above.

Branding through social media

By identifying the networks to which your audience responds the best and by devising the right social media marketing campaign, you can effortlessly build your brand from scratch. First of all, keep in mind that every single demographic has its own preferred social network. Apart from this, it has been noticed that different platforms seem to give better results for certain types of goods and merchandise. For instance, digital devices and software are ideal for YouTube, while the Pinterest audience might be more interested in arts and crafts and DIY projects. At the end of the day, your content needs to be social-media appropriate, which, on its own, takes a lot of work and effort.

Voice search SEO

Any respectable company in 2018 is already investing a fair share of their digital marketing budget into improving their Google rank. However, they might still fail to fully grasp the importance of the voice search in the present-day world. Nowadays, about 41 percent of adults tend to use this feature on a daily basis, while the figures are even greater for a teenage audience. With this in mind, focusing on voice search SEO might be a particularly great idea.

Chatbots

Although the quality of service provided by a chatbot can never be compared to the one provided by a well-trained customer service employee, the expediency of response is a factor that goes strongly in favor of chatbots. Apart from this, the recent breakthroughs in this field have made chatbots so sophisticated that the majority of users who interacted with them describes the experience as satisfying, while about 10 percent claim they had the ‘neutral experience’.

Cybersecurity

Finally, the bigger your company gets the more likely it will become hackers’ target. Because of this, you need to prepare your digital presence to fend itself against such a threat in time. The most scalable solution would be to go with an open architecture based IP controller, such as JD Security Genetic Synergies which offers a series of advanced features vital for the safe growth of your brand online. With features like active directory integration and a high-end built-in visitor management, you will get a full insight into your company’s digital security.

An investment in any of the above-mentioned trends, features and software can have a major impact on your business structure in the years to come. Furthermore, the greater your company becomes (which is the ultimate goal) the more aspects you’ll need to invest in. You’ll have to upgrade your security efforts and expand your remote workforce, which will lead to increased voice searches and social media inquiries about your brand. Overall, down the road, you might find some of these improvements to be mandatory, so why wait?