For many Boomers, downsizing equates to job loss, layoffs. Rightsizing translates to squeezing into a single-level, garden home.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, look at streamlining as opportunity, innovation and creativity.

With nearly 400,000 small business start ups each year, creating more than 60 percent of all new jobs in America, lean businesses tend to be agile and innovative, so they can quickly respond to new opportunities, technological advancements, customer needs and other market forces. Here are six top small business trends to look for in 2018.

Partner, Collaborate and Outsource

Repetitive work such as bookkeeping, customer support and website maintenance do not always necessitate hiring employees. Virtual assistants, freelancers and outsource accounting experts can be more economical than hiring employees. And, on-demand large projects might be supported by partnering with subject experts as needed.

Small business can greatly benefit from developing vendor relationships and collaborating with like-minded colleagues to grow business. In addition, outsourcing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Guru and Fiverr offer remote support for dozens of business functions.

Business Basics

Often chasing leads and tending to customer needs push business basics to the back burner. That’s a killer! Remember, tend to making fiscally responsible choices and using your time wisely. These business basics are a must.

  • Reduce expenses
  • Eliminate redundant, inefficient processes
  • Curate and reuse rather than recreating the wheel
  • Focus your time and resources on the highest value activities
  • Market in new ways that directly touch your ideal clients/customers.
  • Eliminate products, business lines or divisions that are not profitable or strategic

Digitize and Automate

You know those boxes of work samples, industry reference magazines and spiral-bound professional development books you haven’t looked at in years? They are cluttering your space. Take a day and scan them and recycle the paper. The same goes with your photo boxes. You can downsize space and save your memories. Just digitize them.

In addition to saving space, by integrating automated business and marketing systems, you can streamline activities, save time and increase productivity.

Specifically you can use technology to automate business systems such as:

  • Integrating accounting software applications,
  • Restructuring HR and professional resources,
  • Modifying inventory systems and
  • Simplifying marketing research and lead generation activities.

While these steps can simplify business, deciding where to start can be overwhelming. Just start. Make the decision to downsize your life, personal and professional. Then make that decision a journey – one activity at a time.