In many ways, the ingredients you need to start a small business haven’t changed much over the years. A unique concept or business proposition, mixed with a dash of ingenuity, tenacity, and some basic financial smarts — that can take you a long way. Of course, a stomach for risk-taking doesn’t hurt, either. However, the tools you need to build a thriving, powerful company, one that can rise above the noise and challenge larger competitors — those innovations are constantly evolving.
“Small businesses are always looking for new ways to get an edge and compete with the big guys,” said Brian Sutter, marketing director for Wasp Barcode Technologies, which provides inventory management and point-of-sale software, said in an interview. “Right now, technology is giving them that edge.”
So, how can your company get ahead? Which innovative solutions should you be using, which trends should you ignore, and what risk do you run by jumping into the fray? In the sections that follow, experts from across the country address some of the important trends and developments that small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs should know about in order to succeed in today’s world.
|• Marketing: In a digital world, where should you be investing your ad dollars? Check out the latest tools available to help your company reach and engage your customers.|
|• Financing: A primer on some of the existing and emerging sources of capital for small businesses and start-ups, including alternative lenders and crowdfunding portals.|
|• Recruiting: Here’s how your small company can find and recruit the most talented job candidates – even when you’re facing competition from larger businesses.|
|• Big Data: Data-driven decisions can eliminate a lot of guesswork for business owners. But how do you collect, analyze and protect your company’s most coveted information?|
|• Web: Consumers are increasingly searching for products and services on their mobile devices – but are they finding yours? Here’s the secret to carving out space on their phones.|