Has small business done what we expected it to do in 2014? Mostly, yes. The infographic below, from business process solutions company MicroSourcing Australasia, is from the beginning of the year and predicted what trends would be popular for business.
2014 has been the year of corporate social responsibility. Several companies have realized the benefits, both intrinsically and financially, that come from helping the surrounding community, while the companies that have been contributing continue to give more. Platforms like Givematcher have appeared, allowing monetary charitable donations to go further than ever before.
Customer relationships have also been a focus of the past year. More businesses are enlisting the help of big data to customise their marketing plans and to appeal to each individual. Obviously, customer relationships have always been the top priority, but this year saw the personalisation of marketing to suit each customer.
The cloud has influenced just about every arm of business, as long as companies are willing to invest in the technology. Cloud first technology has allowed companies to offload expensive data storage hardware, and to allow their companies to work from pretty much anywhere. This has encouraged the work from home trend, which lends to a better work/life balance and happier employees.
The cloud has also greatly contributed to companies financial management options, giving businesses the opportunity to simplify and outsource the job a little easier.
Social media continues to be on the cutting edge for marketing by giving companies several new venues to reach their customers at home, for a low cost. It’s lent itself to recruiting for human resources—how easy is it to post a job to LinkedIn?—as well as keeping shareholders and the public aware of company news.
And as more social media moves platform adopt advertising plans, like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest have done or are in the process of doing, the doors will continue to open wider for companies big and small to capitalise on huge followings.