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2017 Business Plan

January 16, 2017 by Ed Becker

Early in the year is usually the best time to concentrate on your new business plan. The lull after the holiday rush gives you an opportunity to review, research and tweak your business plan for the coming year. As you are working on this task, here are some of the hottest trends expected to impact small businesses in 2017. Check them out, research them and see if they are compatible with your business, if so, incorporate them into your business plan.

Mobile Centric

Mobile usage just keeps growing, and becoming the norm. Consumers are not only researching and reviewing on their mobile devices, but they are following through and purchasing on their mobile devices as well.

If you are not optimized for mobile device use, you need to be working that way quickly! Ensuring that you and/or your content are found in mobile searches is key, knowing the search words, phrases and questions your market are asking ensures that you can have content ready to meet their needs and solve their problems, and hopefully gain a new customer.

Accepting mobile payments, having mobile payment buttons available on social platforms, creating an app for your small business, or being on apps that allow your market consumers to find you are vital to staying in touch with the mobile generation. Using mobile only apps such as Snapchat and Instagram allow potential customers to find you and gain their trust.   These are huge mobile friendly assets.


Along the same lines as becoming mobile centric; your website needs to be mobile friendly. If your site is not mobile user friendly you will lose traffic and potential sales. Your site should be responsive, meaning that it adjusts itself to the display size being used. This ensures that no matter what type of device is used your site works well.

Recent stats show that only about half of small businesses have a website and about half of those are not responsive to work on mobile devices. If this is your business, you are leaving money on the table by the piles.

Ecommerce is another huge loss of money if you are not using it. The comfort of purchasing online is at the highest level ever, if you are not promoting and utilizing an Ecommerce site you are definitely losing sales.

EMV Payment Security

With the new laws of liability, small businesses are liable for 100% of the cost of fraud that occurs if they do not have EMV payments security.  This puts your company at high risk, if you accept face-to-face credit card payments. Updating to EMV this year will greatly reduce your risk of being liable for the cost of fraud. EMV has created the safest environment for business and consumers to use their credit cards on site.


Subject Matter Experts are becoming a very hot commodity with consumers and with businesses. Potential customers are more willing to speak with a SME than a salesperson, because they want expert advice and information about products or services. For businesses, it is wise to integrate this service with your sales team.

Content Changes

Content is still king. But it has changed. Video and live broadcasts are now the hot ticket to view content. Using videos, or live streams on social media on your website can greatly increase your reach. Consumers are more apt to watch a video to the end than they are to read an article all the way through. Using a media mix of content is the best option. Also, ensure that your SEO is targeted to mobile search terms and phrases.

Crowdfunding Market Validation

Many large corporations are using crowd funding to validate market interest. It saves time and cost to market expenses to know early in the planning and development if a product is going to be popular.

Reviewing, researching, and implementing some or all of the above, or others of the projected small business trends into your 2017 business plan will help you to stay current with your target market.

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