Are you ready to tackle 2018 headfirst?

Small business owners tend to be constantly inundated with advice—most of it good, some… well, not so much (but you know that already!). One of the good bits of advice small business owners get is to always be refining their unique selling proposition (USP). Whether you’re running a startup or an enterprise-tier organization, differentiating yourself from the competition is rarely a bad thing.

However, keeping up-to-date about current trends in your industry and the small business world at large can often glean some useful information. Cost saving strategies can be discovered, new marketing tactics can be learned, and ways to better engage with your target audience can be implemented. In this post, we’d like to examine a handful of small business trends which are likely to continue during 2018.

Increased Importance of the Cloud

Perhaps there is a future ahead of us that’s completely paperless, but it’s not likely to be in 2018. Having said that, last year was a turning point for many small businesses thanks to the continually dropping prices of cloud-capable printers. Even shoestring startups were able to pick up units like the Xerox Phaser 6510, which sports an unparalleled price vs. performance ratio.

Cloud enabled MFPs grant a lot of accessibility and flexibility to organizations both small and large. The benefits are especially noticeable in non-standardized office environments, meaning that everyone uses a different kind of device or operating system. Cloud printing eliminates the printing headaches of yesteryear, enabling employees to print documents in seconds whether they’re using Windows, Apple, or Android devices.

cloud printing office efficiencyImproved Internal Communication

Communicating with your target audience is important—and we’ll get to it in a moment—but just as important is improving internal communication between employees and management. Exactly how communication is improved will depend on the business and industry, but 2017 saw many small businesses focusing on this element of company building.

Whether you use the increasingly popular team communication app Slack or something more industry-specific like Fieldwire, make it a point this year to improve and streamline internal communication.

Email Marketing & Direct Paper Mail Campaigns

There’s plenty of evidence to indicate that direct print marketing is “still” highly effective, with some analysts believing it to be more important than ever to contrast the push for digital advertising. However, there’s no rule that says you can’t do both email marketing and direct marketing campaigns—smart small businesses in 2018 will find ways of blending the lines between the two.

starting a business in 2018Continually Evolving Social Media Presence

Last year, Twitter saw a decline in users, whereas Instagram saw rapid growth. It’s hard to say which social media platforms will grow in popularity this year, but if the last decade can teach us anything, it’s this: social media is an extremely powerful yet ever-changing advertising channel. Small businesses who want to expand their online presence this year will need to stay up to date on which platforms to focus their energy on.

Is 2018 Going to be Your Best Year Yet?

We hope that 2018 will be your best year yet! Our team at Professional Document Solutions is dedicated to helping you grow your small business in ways that make the most sense. Take advantage of our business solutions to discover the technology and equipment that’s going to make the biggest impact on your business. We want to learn about your specific usage scenarios and how we can help you optimize your working environment.

Feel free to contact us or stop by one of our locations. Already know what you’re looking for? Request a quote here.

Happy New Years and all the best to you in 2018!