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Five Key Trends For SMEs For 2019

B2B marketplaces are a great way to give a head start to the online business presence of SMEs as these online platforms have loads to offer in terms of experience, expertise and technology

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MOBILE FOCUS: The rapid diffusion of mobile phones in developing countries, coupled with its broadened utilization besides the basic voice and SMS communication has made it the most sort after platform to reach out to potential clients for an array of industries. No wonder that mobile phone is now the center of interest for the SMEs business development as well. With internet and handset costs taking a plunge due to the operator’s cut-throat competition it is alluring for small businesses to carry out their work conveniently and cost-efficiently. 

CLIENT SERVICING: Small businesses must compete for every customer they have. The cost of customer acquisition is much greater for small businesses, compared to big competitors, which have larger advertising budgets and what seems like unlimited resources for promotions. One of the first impacts that a business will see from good customer service will be client retention and brand loyalty.  People will return to a business in which they feel they are treated with respect and in fact client references are another chain reaction that is sure to set the business soaring. As much as good customer service aids the sale process, bad customer service can kill an otherwise sure sale.

CYBER SECURITY, DATA COLLECTION AND CUSTOMER PROTECTION: Cyber crime in the SMEs environment is a growing concern. Over time, Information Technology (IT) has offered a range of opportunities to SMEs as the global means of communication and business operation. However, the dependency of SMEs on IT has also made them vulnerable to newer IT security threats. 

The impact of Big Data lies not only in the amount of data that has been generated but also in how that data can be converted into insights for the furtherance of the business. It creates real-time solutions for key challenges in every sector that can foster alliance in SMEs. 

A large collection of data sets can provide the SMEs with a deeper understanding of the existing and potential state of their own companies and besides helping them find ground for future quantitative and qualitative research.

Consumer protection provisions are extended to business customers in some areas, but not others, and the cut-offs for which business customers receive additional protection differ across products. It reflects the legislation under which the relevant bodies act, as opposed to policy choices by the regulators.

All in all it is vital that the SMEs focus on these aspects to ensure that they are using and offering a safe environment for business. 

PERSONALIZED MARKETING TECHNIQUES USING AI: Technological advancement and digital innovation in the last few years have been instrumental in defining the success of businesses. However, SMEs today are still hesitant to adopt new and emerging technologies such as AI and data science. One of the reasons that make them skeptical is the perception that AI implementation isn't suitable for small companies due to the lack of resources and adequate funds. In today’s dynamic business culture one does not need to have a big company to use these technological benefits, instead if these tools are used optimally can completely revolutionize these SMEs. 

SOCIAL MEDIA- NEW ADDITIONS AND ACT OF STORYTELLING TO ATTRACT CUSTOMERS: Understanding the impact social media has on a small business is becoming more important as more potential consumers join and spend a large amount of time using social networks. From a small business owner’s perspective, the low cost and small amount of work to run a social media page are the top reasons to create a social media presence. Not only can hiring a social media expert help you grow and maintain a social presence, provide strategic thinking, manage online reputations, and potentially increase sales, it also allows small business owners to do what they are experts in – their business.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Sunil Gupta.

Sunil Gupta is founder and director of, often referred to as India's largest searchable B2B marketplace.

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