There are a lot of news stories about how modern advancements like artificial intelligence and online privacy concerns affect big businesses but what about small ones? How do these trends influence entrepreneurs and how does someone approach starting a small business in this day and age?
1. Cost is not always the most important factor when it comes to new tech.
Yes, the cost is important, but most business owners understand that the benefits are often worth it. Rolling out the right tech may cost a pretty penny but, in the end, what’s most important is that it’s easy to use and comes from companies and vendors the business owner can trust.
2. Millennials and Gen Zers are starting businesses in a much different way than older generations.
Millennials and Gen Zers have very different goals than Baby Boomers when it comes to starting a business and very different reasons for starting one.
Younger generations are more likely to start a business because they were motivated by an idea that they were passionate about developing. They’re also more likely to start a side business that allows them to explore their passions and interests while still holding down a regular job that may or may not be entirely rewarding. Thanks to the internet and constant connectivity, it’s much easier to do these things from home after work and on the weekends.
Their motivations are different, too. Millennials and Gen Zers are 170% more likely to work in an environment that they consider hostile and 73% more likely to have been given no advancement opportunities. Combine that with the fact that they are twice as likely to be in debt as Baby Boomers and it’s easy to see why they let their passions motivate them.
3. Self-discipline is still important in starting a business.
Starting a business today takes a lot of work, just as it always has. Most business owners end up filling multiple roles and self-discipline is the most important personality trait to staying focused on success. There are plenty of good days and a lot of bad ones with any small business. It’s important for business owners to keep moving forward, even when it gets really tough.
What other traits are necessary to have a thriving business? Passion and drive are just as important as people skills and the ability to communicate effectively. Leadership, money management, and knowledge of the market are also important.
4. Small businesses place a priority on managing customer relations through tech.
Financial software is important and upgrading hardware is important but the top priority when it comes to using technology for most small businesses is customer relationship management. This seems to be a newer trend. Almost half of all small businesses use one and nearly ⅔ of those have only had a system in place for less than two years.
What do customer relationship management systems do? Primarily, they allow for faster and more interactive customer service, easily generating reports, and effectively providing sales leads.
5. Small businesses of today are embracing the idea of artificial intelligence.
Big brands are already all over AI but, currently, only about 8% of small businesses are using it. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready for it. Trends are showing the use of AI by small businesses is gaining momentum - nearly half think they’re business has grown to the point that they’re ready for AI and about another third or so have plans to use AI in the near future.
Any opinions are those of Thomas Fleishel and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.