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NEWS|GENERAL BUSINESS

6 Small Business Trends to Know About for 2024

4-minute read

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Kristin Vegh

Kristin Vegh

28 December 2023

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Is your business à la mode?

You may have seen it on dessert menus, but we think this term — meaning “fashionable” — is an apt way to describe whether or not your business is keeping up with industry trends. Staying vogue isn't required, but keeping up with what's hot in the business world can add a little extra something sweet you can add to your plate to enhance the dish.

So what’s on the menu for 2024? Here are the six trends we believe small business owners should be thinking about this year.

1. Embracing AI.

Thanks to emerging tools, artificial intelligence (AI) is now more accessible than ever. While AI is taking the world by storm with its ability to imitate human conversations, small business owners have found more productive uses for this trendy tech.

A report by the U.S. Small Business Association revealed that the vast majority of proprietors using AI tools for small business operations, marketing, customer service, and beyond attributed their increased success to these tools. AI can be a powerful tool for boosting efficiency, reducing errors, and saving resources. While it’s not without risks, proper application could be just the ticket to help your small business succeed in 2024.

2. Focusing on customer experience.

Current technologies may make for a convenient consumer journey, but digitizing customer experiences has had its downsides, too. Many consumers believe that some human interaction is needed for a positive customer experience.

This upcoming year could be a great opportunity to work on making your customer journey more intuitive and personal. Brushing up on your customer service skills might be a great place to start. This could involve:

  • Focusing on convenience
  • Soliciting and embracing feedback
  • Offering in-person service rather than via email

Additionally, making your website more user-friendly and updating your marketing strategy can go a long way toward giving your customers the best possible experience.

3. Cracking down on cybersecurity.

Experiencing a data breach can be devastating for a small business. If your customers’ private information is stolen, you’ll need to notify them, as it puts them at risk for identity theft. And that’s far from the only risk. A digital security problem of this nature could be devastating for your business’s reputation.

In 2024, make sure you have your cyber bases covered, and start with what’s in your control. Some cybersecurity tips for small businesses are:

  • Requiring regular data safety training for you and your employees
  • Ensuring the data security of payment processors and banks you work with have been properly vetted
  • Sticking to secure passwords on all work accounts and hardware

Carrying a cyber insurance policy is one way you can be proactive about your business’s cybersecurity. In the event that your business experiences a data breach, this type of policy typically helps cover costs relating to:

  • Finding and fixing the data breach
  • Notifying customers who may have been impacted by the breach
  • Crisis management and PR
  • And more!

Still want to know more? Simply Business® can help. We do more than just connect small business owners with commercial insurance from trusted insurers. We also can help you understand the coverage before you buy. Our licensed agents will explain your coverage and answer any questions you may have.

If you’re just looking for a quote, don’t worry. We’ve made that simple as well. Try our free online quote comparison tool and browse coverage options tailored to your business.

So don’t leave your small business vulnerable to cyber threats. Remember: Cyber protection is also brand protection.

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4. Putting values first.

While strong values never go out of style, they are forecasted as the next trend for small businesses in 2024. Recent years have seen a shift in consumer behavior toward using their spending power to make a positive social impact. For many, environmental responsibility is an important cause and can influence how they spend their money.

As a result, 2024 might be the year to start embracing eco-friendly business practices. Our round-up of green initiatives for businesses highlights simple ways to make your small business more sustainable. Some examples include:

  • Going paperless
  • Opting for eco-friendly packaging
  • Reducing your business’s carbon footprint with low-wattage bulbs, motion-sensor lights, and more

And sustainability is just the tip of the iceberg. You also can partner with charities by giving them a portion of your revenue or collect donations for food banks and shelters.

5. Going all-in on digital marketing.

With evolving technologies comes the need for evolving marketing strategies. Simply having a web presence is good — but it’s only a start. Small businesses will benefit from learning how to understand their digital analytics and use what they learn to make the most of what they put online.

Tracking sales and engagement can help you strategize what to post and when to post it. And you don’t need to sacrifice the personalized customer experience. In fact, it achieves the opposite. Optimizing your online customer journey can help you make a positive impression and make customers feel comfortable coming back to work with you again.

6. Leveraging your small business status.

In a world filled with big-box stores, national chains, and franchises, many weary consumers prefer to support small businesses. When developing your brand and marketing strategy, try to use that to your advantage. You know firsthand that there’s nothing “small” about the effort it takes to run a small business — which is exactly the hard work that consumers want to support.

Embrace and build on the goodwill that your small business status lends you. Showcase what makes your business unique. Community involvement is a great way to get your business out there and let customers know there’s a person behind the brand.

One Step Ahead

With a new year comes new opportunities to help your business succeed. Embracing new tech and paying attention to consumer trends will help you stay ahead of the curve and at the forefront of positive change. Jumping on every trend may not be feasible — try to follow the trends that make sense for what your business does. It might just help to make 2024 your best year yet.

Kristin Vegh

Written by

Kristin Vegh

After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.

Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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