2015 Small-Business Outlook: Turning Optimism into Growth

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As 2014 came to an end, economic indicators began to show positive signs of growth, prompting optimism for business outlook in 2015. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) recently announced that its survey, the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, had jumped to its highest levels since before 2008.

Most significantly, the NFIB reported that small-business owners see a decline in “poor sales” as the most important issue they faced. This factor is allowing small-business owners to invest more in their businesses and seek greater opportunities for expansion.

For Mannatech Associates, a growing economy and an optimistic outlook is fertile ground to grow their businesses and find new ways to increase sales. To help turn this optimism into reality, Mannatech’s business development experts have analyzed the business atmosphere and have released a set of tips and trends to accelerate business growth for its enterprising entrepreneurs.

Market to Millennials

According to the NPD Group, there are 80 million millennials in North America who made more than five billion shopping visits in the past year with a focus on health, beauty and apparel. Millennials tend to make purchases that balance value against environmental concerns, sustainability and social responsibility. Millennial families tend to pursue do-it-yourself solutions, including health and nutrition. Thus, they are more apt to incorporate supplements into their diets that are derived from natural sources and not artificial additives.

Social Media’s Changing Channels

Facebook and Twitter are well-established social networks that tell a product’s story. On the other hand, LinkedIn has taken the lead in increasing individual networking. To show off products and their benefits, Instagram and YouTube are compelling channels. And, to speak directly to a woman-centric audience, including millennials, Pinterest has proven to be a successful marketing channel.

Experts Versus Sales

Making sales is a core revenue generator for owner-led small businesses. Shoppers, however, are looking for a partner relationship when making their purchasing decisions. Therefore, the salesman taking the role of an expert and advocate for customers creates long-term relationships that will help businesses continue to grow.

Connected Consumers

Many people, led by millennials, have turned into “selfie consumers.” They will take photos of their purchases and share them across their social networks if they had a positive experience. It is also a wise tactic to encourage customers, via incentives, to share their purchasing experiences via their social networks.

Women Focused Strategies

A few ways to reach this powerful consumer segment include: focusing on specific family benefits, creating attractive product presentations and targeting locations where women are already present, such as Pinterest.

Optimism is on the rise, but turning it into real business growth cannot happen on its own. Staying current on market trends, having a clear sales strategy and putting in the hours can help small-business owners take advantage of the expanding economy.


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