Bay Area Business Trends That Can Benefit Small Businesses Everywhere

Regardless of what type of company you run or where you’re located, small businesses can learn from and get inspired by local and regional trends. This is especially true of San Francisco’s bustling startup scene, which has spawned many Silicon Valley success stories in the last two decades.

Forbes San Francisco Business Council members identified some business trends in their area that can benefit small business owners across the nation. In the Bay Area and beyond, these tactics can be great ways to fuel your company’s success.

Six experts share their tips about business trends that can help your venture thrive.All photos courtesy of individual members.

1. Make Your Business A Force For Good

Consumers truly believe that businesses can provide solutions toward positive environmental and social challenges we face in the world today. In other words, use your business as a force for good for people and the planet. – Shamini Dhana, Dhana Inc.

2. Use Technology To Grow And Scale Quickly

The Bay Area is the heart of technology. Take advantage of technology to help your teams work from anywhere, collaborate seamlessly and get the most bang for your IT budget, even without an IT team. These tools can help your teams collaborate, chat, engage clients and get work done quickly. This can help you operate like a global leader. – Kathy Krumpe, Future State, Inc.

3. Focus On Employee Engagement And Retention

Work extra hard to keep your best people. People seem to be feeling a lot more confident, which is wonderful — but it means that you need to be transparent about their path toward a raise or bonus and focus on check-ins to assess job satisfaction. – Cameron Jacox, Lark Technologies, Inc.

4. Collaborate With Other Small Businesses To Enhance Your Offerings

Find partners who can bring new services and products to enhance your value to customers. Find partners that fill the gaps in your business or who can provide more capacity when you are in the fortunate state of being too busy. And when the tables are turned, find partners that bring you into opportunities. Take on bigger projects with your combined forces. – Norma Watenpaugh, PhoenixCG

5. Hire A Diverse Workforce

A diverse workforce with different ages, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures and types of education can allow businesses to serve customers better because each group brings different insight into a diverse customer base. Our world is diverse by nature; if you don’t have a diverse workforce, you could either be missing serving your customers or possibly not serving them at all. – Sylvain Kalache, Holberton School

6. Manage Your Data Safely and Smartly

Small businesses can make significant gains by implementing new technology. Yet new technology can bring new risks, so business owners must be aware of how to manage their data in a way that protects their cybersecurity and that of their customers. This is especially relevant for tech-based businesses like mine because a compromise in our security could put our reputation or business at risk. – Evan Singer, SmartBiz Loans