It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to planning for the upcoming year.
What will be the big stories for business in 2014?
How can your business benefit from these new trends?
Here’s five of the top business trends for 2014 and how your business can maximize on these opportunities.
2014 Business Trend #1: Cloud computing continues to grow
The cloud is here to stay and becoming mainstream.
Every major research firm is predicting huge growth as more businesses move to the cloud.
According to Gartner, “the bulk of new IT spending by 2016 will be for cloud computing platforms and applications with nearly half of large enterprises having cloud deployments by the end of 2017.”
And, it’s not just big business that’s moving to the cloud. Small and mid-size businesses can also reap the benefits of cloud computing such as cost reduction, reliability, simplified deployment, flexibility, remote access, and scalability.
2014 Business Trend #2: Turning big data into information
According to Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt:
“There was 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created
every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.”
As businesses generate and gather more & more data, they are also discovering the need to turn the data into information – real-time information that can be easily accessed and used throughout an organization for purposes that range from forecasting to decision support to customer relationship management and more.
Every day, Acctivate users are making better decisions, spotting trends & uncovering customer insights using real-time business intelligence.
You can too. Learn more »
2014 Business Trend #3: Profits beyond borders
Businesses will continue to expand beyond borders and look globally to buy and sell goods and services.
The World Trade Organization predicts world trade growth at about 4.5% for 2014, up from 2.5% in 2013 and 2012.
Many businesses will target countries that are seeing a rise in spending power and have markets with less competition as opportunities to expand their geographic customer base.
From trading in multiple currencies to managing global locations to calculating landed cost,
Acctivate makes going global far easier than you might think.
2014 Business Trend #4: Customers will continue to have higher expectations
Customers will continue to expect – and demand – more.
What do customer’s want?
They want to contact you by their preferred method.
They want options.
They want competitive pricing.
They want their product to be in stock.
They want their purchase delivered quickly.
They want accurate orders.
They want great customer service.
They want value.
They want convenience.
They want to know they are appreciated.
How do you deliver on all these wants? That’s where a best-of-breed, integrated software solution can do the heavy lifting.
By centralizing on one system with real-time access across all channels, everyone in the company can become a customer service advocate. One system – one source of information, ensuring consistent information. One system, with dynamic, interactive dashboards that enable you to gain instant insight and make better business decisions.
Acctivate enables everyone in your company – purchasing, the warehouse, sales, marketing, customer service and management –
to have access to the same, real-time information & become customer advocates.
2014 Business Trend #5: Content, geo, mobile & social media marketing
Marketing continues to move further away from telling and more toward building relationships and delivering value. Four trends you will hear about, experience and should implement:
Content marketing – creating relevant content that is valuable in an effort to form relationships – is by far the hottest marketing trend for 2014. Partly in response to changing Google algorithms and partly because those searching for a solution are learning to avoid ads in favor of value, marketers are focusing on creating intelligent content for visitors.
Examples of content marketing include blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, videos, social media posts and webinars – as long as they provide value, not just sales information. While content marketing requires time and thought, it will be rewarded by both Google and your visitors.
Optimize your website for mobile devices. According to Gartner, tablet shipments grew 53.4% in 2013 and mobile analytics firm, Flurry, reports that 78% of the adult US population use an Android or Apple iOS smart phone device.
As the browsing population shifts away from PCs, make sure your website works well for all of your visitors. Test it with your smart phone and your tablet – if it isn’t easy to navigate or is too slow, changes may be necessary. Before making changes, do a bit of research. A good place to start is Google, who recommends building smart phone optimized websites using responsive website design.
Social media continues to grow and is no longer just about Facebook & Twitter. To maximize your social media efforts, deliver quality content across multiple networks including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google+ and put personality into the effort. The key to social media is to engage, which requires thought, listening, responding, and not just scheduling links to your website.
A bonus 2014 business tip – Acctivate
Acctivate is the only inventory software that enables companies to better manage their inventory – and their entire business – while also delighting customers – and all at an affordable price.
Already an Acctivate user? Be sure to subscribe to the monthly newsletter & attend our webinars – both are filled with tips, tricks and the latest news.
Best wishes for a happy & prosperous 2014!
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