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10 Trends to be Engaged by Successful Small and Mid-Size Businesses this Year

Take a look at the most common habits and practices of small and medium size businesses (SMBs) and you’ll find that while their products and services may be wildly varied, they have more in common than just the number of employees on their payroll.From health care practices to law offices, churches to real estate firms, successful small businesses execute a number of similar core approaches on a daily basis. Take a look at the trends we are seeing in today’s market and ask yourself, how does your business measure up?

1. Budgets and thoughtful spending

When planning their budgets and spending, smart business owners look not just at the money in their pocket, but at economic trends or disruptions that could impact consumer spending, labor costs, and other expenses.

A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) found that 16% of small business owners are expecting higher sales and better business conditions in 2017 and that they’re actively planning job creation and expansions to fit those expectations. Those expansions are also likely to include investments like new equipment to help improve workflows, or changes/increases in their marketing spend.

2. Strategic business purchases

With so many new products and solutions available to help small businesses streamline their workflows and improve productivity, smart entrepreneurs are considering value beyond the box when purchasing new equipment or supplies. The right equipment won’t dominate their small office space in order to be near an internet connection. Affordability and practicality are also top-of-mind for savvy business owners, who want equipment that is easy to use, has built-in security, and that won’t be obsolete before the team has even figured out how it works.

3. Buck industry standards

The most successful SMB owners share similar habits that set them apart from the crowd – and set them up for success. These are the people who dream big; the ones who see opportunities where others see challenges, and who are willing to take tiny steps toward their goal no matter how far they have to travel. They also understand the critical importance of execution, but are not afraid to make mistakes or to fail. These enterprise owners also apply their resources toward building strong teams and delegating responsibilities to those teams as needed. They are also willing to quickly change course when an approach isn’t working, and to ask for help when they need it.

4. Digital Marketing

Nearly half (44%) of all small and mid-size businesses are engaged in digital marketing.1 Typically an affordable approach, digital marketing is linked to growth in website traffic, brand recognition, search rankings, and sales. Small businesses gain a competitive advantage when buyers can find them online and high in search engine rankings, and because digital marketing is easy to track, it’s also easier for businesses to determine whether a strategy is working, or whether those resources would be better allocated elsewhere.

Small Business Digital Marketing and Social Media Habits in 2016 Survey, Clutch Co.

5. Businesses effectively using social media for outreach purposes

One of the chief components of an effective digital marketing campaign is social media. While only one piece of the puzzle, it is among the most critical. A 2015 survey by the Halverson Group on behalf of IZEA found that paid social media advertising is more effective than traditional advertising. In 2016, 73% of businesses were using social media marketing to promote their businesses.2 Social media provides businesses with a unique opportunity to further engage their audiences, share their story and create a face for their brand.

Small Business Digital Marketing and Social Media Habits in 2016 Survey, Clutch Co.

6. Office technology designed specifically for small businesses

The common methods of doing business go beyond habits and practices. Xerox has emphasized its ongoing commitment to improve the flow of work for small and mid-size businesses with several new product launches. These technology offerings are designed to boost productivity while cutting costs, and small enterprise owners have been quick to take notice. The new Xerox Phaser® 6510 color printer and Xerox WorkCentre® 6515 color multifunction printer are both garnering attention – and popularity – thanks to differentiated features their ease-of-use and huge potential for productivity.

7. Xerox has also kept individual verticals markets in mind

With products like the Xerox Healthcare Multifunction Printer Solution for small providers, Xerox helps medical practices, clinics and specialty care providers digitize patient information for secure online exchange, improving care coordination and patient outcomes. Equipped with ConnectKey® Technology, this new machine not only speeds up paper dependent processes, it also allows providers to stay current with EMR regulations while focusing more on patients and less on paperwork.

8. Capture documents in 3 steps

Another game changer is the new Web Capture Service digitization tool, the only solution that automates and scans a document in just three steps for immediate use without creating files, renaming documents and importing them into an application. Sold only through Xerox channel partners, Web Capture Service can be used with any scanner regardless of brand and works with most web applications such as Microsoft Office 365, QuickBooks, Salesforce, SAP, Concur and many more.

9. High-performance printers for small offices

Last but certainly not least are two machines which prove that improving productivity isn’t just about improving processes. In a small office, productivity drain often starts with a new piece of office equipment or a process that no one is quite sure how to use (or when to use it). Whether it’s dealing with connectivity problems, slow print speeds, poor image quality or complicated set-up, before you know it, three people lend a hand and work comes to a grinding halt.

10. Office equipment designed for small enterprises

To help small offices sidestep that kind of loss, Xerox developed the Xerox WorkCentre® 3335/3345 Multifunction Printers (MFPs) and Xerox Phaser® 3330, a set of black-and-white printers that even the least tech-savvy person in the office can easily operate. Part of what makes them so easy to use is that 90 percent of the basic functions are located right on the main screen, so anyone can find what they need, click, and move on to the next task at hand. Internal Wi-Fi connectivity and Near Field Communication make it easy to for your team to connect their phones and tablets while time-saving features, such as the Wi-Fi installation wizard and on-device address book, take the guesswork out of wireless connectivity and enable faster document delivery.

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