By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Attracting and retaining clients is priority one, followed by reducing costs and improving software.
SMBs are setting new priorities for 2017, and a GetApp survey discovered for 58 percent pf respondents, attracting/retaining clients will be most crucial to keeping business momentum going. Thirteen percent feel lowering costs will have the biggest effect, and 8 percent feel improving software and IT infrastructure will be the biggest difference maker in 2017.
GetApp surveyed over 500 SMBs to discern what tactics SMBs should be using to make their 2017 goals a reality. Small business uncertainty is currently at a 42 year high, which means the time is now for SMBs to prioritize and focus for the coming year. Additional priorities included getting paid faster/speeding up invoicing (6.6 percent); better tracking of workflow (6 percent); and reducing time spent on administration (6 percent).
“Consumers aren’t afraid to vote with their feet, with 95 percent admitting to abandoning a purchase in store, and 85 percent abandoning a purchase online. Therefore, top level customer service practices — such as responsiveness across multiple channels and a personalized customer experience — during all stages of the purchase journey, and effective sales analyses are both crucial in the pursuit of attracting and retaining customers in 2017,” writes GetApp lead researcher Rhiân Davies in an email. “SMBs can take advantage of this research by analyzing their current software stack and judging whether the tools they have in place are helping them to achieve their goals.”
With greater pressure being placed on SMBs to succeed, better planning — including prioritizing agendas and finding cost-cutting measures — will be crucial to their survival.
“Adopting sophisticated business software hosted on the cloud is one way in which SMBs can support these aims, particularly with regard to the almost 13 percent of respondents who said that cost-cutting measures were a priority. Due to the abundance of affordable cloud software available, and given the flexibility (and predictability) of pricing and its scalability, these solutions are much more agile than traditional on premise systems. This makes them ideal for businesses that are looking to both cut costs and attract and retain customers,” writes Davies.