Back to list February 19, 2019 2019 Business Trends Business owners need to keep up with new developments in their industry to succeed. But, they also need to follow broader trends in business to ensure they provide clients with the services and benefits they expect. What will be the big trends for companies in 2019? Here are four to keep an eye on. 1. Greater Deployment of Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer futuristic. In 2019, businesses will use it for even the most mundane of tasks. From powering chatbots on websites to giving insights that improve marketing tools, AI can be an essential tool for your business. In years past, AI was only accessible to large companies. But, as with most technology, it has become cheaper over the years to be more accessible to smaller businesses. Usage might include diagnostic tools for healthcare companies or fraud detection for a financial company. No matter your industry, AI can automate tasks and free up your employees for other essential duties. 2. Increased Reliance on Big Data Does your company use big data to target your services? If not, you may be missing out on wide swaths of potential customers. You can create profiles of your ideal audience by using data tools such as those offered by Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation, like our mapping tool. You can also use big data in other ways. Our workforce profile tool can assist you in figuring out what workers in the area expect to earn and what you can expect in terms of experience and education level from workers in your area. 3. More Emphasis on Cybersecurity Cyber attacks and data breaches have impacted every industry in recent years. Consumers want to know they can trust you with their personal information. They won’t work with companies that lack sufficient tools to detect cybersecurity breaches — they want prevention methods, too. Even small businesses should consider this a worthy investment. You cannot afford to lose your customers’ trust. Security should be a top priority in this new year. 4. Better Mobile Tools to Increase Productivity A few years ago, you rarely saw anything but a cash register at a retail business because there was no other way to process credit cards. But today, you need nothing more than a tablet or smartphone to accept a plastic payment. Mobile devices will be able to do even more this year, and your business needs to stay ahead of the curve in adopting this technology. People love seeing new tech used at the businesses they frequent. It speaks to your forward thinking and willingness to try new approaches, which reflects well on your company. Consider things that can increase productivity in your business, such as apps that can preschedule calls or allow lots of people to collaborate on projects. By keeping up with big and small business trends, you can remain relevant and indispensable to your clients and ensure a strong 2019. If you want further insights on business trends, grant opportunities or securing funding for your small business, get in touch with CAEDC.