Want a Strong Q4? Pay Attention to These Biz Trends
Fueled by technology, business is changing more rapidly than ever before. Entrepreneurs should be aware of key trends and predictions that will affect small businesses for the rest of this year and into 2019.

Cybersecurity: Small businesses have become prime targets for ransomware and attacks on mobile banking and card transactions. As cashless payments continue to grow, mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay are seeing greater adoption, as are various app, browser, and person-to-person payment platforms.

Marketing: More and more, consumers are seeking customized content and offerings. Advances in technology, such as individualized email messaging, allow small business to provide the personalization their customers desire.

Social: Social media advertising has become more competitive and more expensive. SMEs can benefit by using apps to link single posts to multiple sites. This will streamline their postings to reduce time spent on social media marketing. Partnering with micro-influencers – those with under 100K followers – has also proven beneficial for SMEs.

Gen Z: This generation is beginning to make its presence known in the consumer and workforce spaces. Gen Zers are independent and tech-savvy. Personalization is key to attracting the attention of this cohort.

Finance: The economy is doing well, but uncertainty around tariffs and the threat of a trade war loom large. Also, look for interest rates to tick up.

The Workplace: More and more employers are turning to mobile workforces and freelancers for non-core tasks. A large number of SMEs allow employees to work remotely. This strategy can reduce payroll costs and increase the employee pool to include nonlocal talent. For in-house employees, SMEs are offering wellness programs (both physical and mental) and bolstering anti-harassment policies.

Putting strategies in place that address these key business trends will help you stay on top of your game and ahead of your competitors, in 2018 and beyond.