With so many trends in technology and marketing, it’s hard to know what to latch onto and what to leave behind. Here are a few you should seriously consider before diving into.
First, if you haven’t kept up with the buzz about Bitcoin, here’s a summary: it removes the banks as the middlemen in financial transactions, and heavily uses mobile to change hands. It’s appealing because there are no credit card fees and it makes international transactions easier.
But do you need to invest just yet? While we’ve dreamed of a world where mobile payments rule, we might not be quite there. We’ve got a read-worthy post on Small Business Trends about why you might hesitate before getting involved in this still-volatile form of payment. After all, as a small business, you have to protect your assets and minimize risk. Wait until Bitcoin is more mainstream before giving up your cash and card transactions.
2. Mobile Apps
It may feel like you’re late to the party in developing a mobile app, but the truth is, you might not even need one. It’s a big enough investment that you should ask yourself why you think you need an app, and then look at other options.
Having a responsive website can also be a smart alternative; this would ensure that your website renders well, no matter what device a visitor is using. It’s a good idea to have one anyway, and it may actually alleviate the desire for building a mobile app.
If you’ve exhausted other possibilities for financing, including a bank loan or investors, crowdfunding might look pretty appealing to you. After all, who wouldn’t want cash you didn’t have to pay back, in exchange for giving out a few thank-you t-shirts?
It’s never that easy, is it? The SEC — as well as many individual states — is coming up with heavy regulations for small businesses that will turn off many due to the sheer number of hoops.
Add to that the fact many crowdfunding sites won’t release funds if you don’t hit your target. So for example, if you’re trying to raise $100,000 to open a second location but only raise $80,000, you’ll end up with nothing for your efforts.
There’s nothing wrong with hopping on these trends, but make sure you do so for the right reasons. Assess your goals as well as your resources, and be willing to take on the risk should they go south.