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  • 29 September 2015
  • Eric Michaels

How to master the changing social environment and stay relevant as a business

While running a small business, you may feel like you have threats coming from all sides. Competitors copying your concept, innovators on the rise, and a constantly changing world will test even the best businesses. The fast-paced social environment is another aspect for small business owners to consider. As everything shifts around you, it is normal to feel like your company is being left behind. Here are a few ways for your business to stay relevant.

Stay informed
The technology section of your local newspaper will give you a beat on what is happening on the digital landscape, and there are specialized websites for everything from social media marketing help to improving your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to gain ground in Google rankings. Tech conferences and marketing forums also highlight developments in the business world and society.

Each social network has a way for you to see how your marketing efforts are performing.

Another excellent way to keep on top of societal changes is by talking with your children or anyone who is young. What makes it into the newspaper and what the kids are saying do not often meet halfway. Have a source with an ear to the ground to stay informed about changes in social life. You may learn nearly as much by watching the top 10 YouTube videos of any given month.

Find out what works
While small business owners may feel overwhelmed by social media strategies, you have more tools at your disposal than ever to measure what is working. Twitter campaigns work for many businesses, but if you do not see any increase in followers, favorites, or retweets after months of activity, then your best bet is to change course and try another network.

Each social network has a way for you to see how your marketing efforts are performing. A skilled marketer will suggest ways for you to move the needle and expand your brand's reach, but you can take a look for yourself whenever you have doubts. The changing social environment is making it harder for marketers to tell companies tall tales of their success. Everything is verifiable.

Hire young
Those who say great recruiting is an exact science suggest you hire employees to address weaknesses in your company. In order to keep up with changing times, you may consider hiring a younger candidate to offer tips in social strategy and help you grasp what a new generation is looking for from your company.

Ignoring the fast-paced social environment was the downfall of many companies, like Blockbuster and Tower Records. In both cases, shifting habits and trends among younger consumers eventually made their products obsolete. By the time these businesses tried to adjust their approach, it was too late. Even the smallest business can learn from companies on that scale.

Outsource your concerns
As you try to keep your business model relevant, you may want to look for help outside your company. Business coaching, social media strategy, financing options, search engine optimization and help for other concerns are available through UPS Store professional partners. When you are having trouble with one area of your business, hiring a new employee may not be the most practical solution.

Outsourcing has the potential to solve your company's pressing needs without a large commitment in money or the valuable time of your staff. Businesses operating with a tight-knit group may not have the advantages of larger companies, but the number of freelancers and one-off professional service providers is allowing small businesses to close the gap. Before taking on more payroll, consider your outsourcing options, which require far less commitment.

A rapidly changing social environment should not intimidate a small business owner, no matter how long you have been in the game. Let The UPS Store partners help make your website mobile-friendly or give you the edge in any other area where you feel like you have fallen behind.

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