While there are certainly core best business practices that withstand the test of time, technology and mass accessibility to information are rapidly changing the way we work, research, and market. Make sure your business is both up to date and ready to tackle upcoming developments with these 5 business strategies for 2016:

  1. Mobile is the Present and Future

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last you few years, you’ve noticed every mom, dad, teen, child, and even grandparent uses a smartphone. Statistca.com states the latest studies find 1/3 of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Research shows at least 80% of internet users own a smartphone with the number growing by the day. A recent report projects that number will rise to 91% of all internet users (an estimated 3 billion people) by 2017.  As smartphone sales and global internet access continue to surge and search engine giants like Google increasingly prioritize mobile-friendliness, ensure your website and content use responsive design, adjusting to mobile and tablet formats so your audience can find you anytime, anywhere.

  1. Customize Customer Service

Because masses across the globe can now access the internet almost anywhere in the world, a nearly endless stream of information is constantly just a touch away. As seen with online retail giants such as Amazon and popular websites like Angie’s List, customers can and will conduct research via online reviews to determine whether to purchase a product or service. A lack of feedback suggests lack of appeal or untested quality though in truth it may be due to outdated marketing methods.

As part of your business strategy, encourage testimonials and actively monitor your online reputation to attract new customers. Stand out from the competition by customizing experiences to your target audience. Data and analytics will show you who your audiences are and how they engage with your brand. Social media tools such as Facebook for Business let you target your ideal audience with ease and engage directly with customers to address complaints, questions, concerns and provide information.

  1. Create Quality Content

Because digital information is such a critical factor to present and future success, make sure your business strategies include creating quality content. For the vast majority of new potential customers, digital content provides the first impression of your brand and if they are not swiftly engaged, one click takes your readers away, possibly to never return. Keep them engaged, entertained, and learning more about your brand by producing content that captures and keeps their attention as well as informs.

  1. Don’t Chase the Trends

Digital platforms and tools provide a wealth of information about what works and doesn’t work for your brand. Just because videos of cute cats go viral does not mean it is the right focus, or even the right medium, for your business. If video fails to engage your audience, don’t spend thousands on a videographer or even optimizing your Youtube channel. Look at what works for you and dedicate resources to making it work even better.

  1. Invest in Training and Education

You and your team cannot make the most of technology or programs you don’t know how to use. Make sure everyone has the skills, training, knowledge, and access they need to provide the best results. Also ensure the protection of sensitive information by regularly updating security measures and educating employees on best practices and procedures. A confident, capable team can help you stay ahead of the competition, grow, and take your business to new heights.

Need help building your business strategies? Multivariable Solutions can help! Chuck Hunter and Stacey McKibbin use their combined five decades of knowledge and experience to transform small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and more through tailored solutions with proven results. Give us a call to get started today!