With the 2010’s officially coming to an end, it might be hard to believe but also hard to ignore the fact that we’re stepping into a new decade. Just like each new decade, the 2020’s are surely going to be marked by advances in technology, changes in consumer shopping habits, and new trends emerging in the marketplace. Depending on the industry that your business operates in, this could mean changes in the operational and logistical aspects, as well as a need to make strategic changes to the marketing of your business. We’ve seen many examples in the past of businesses not succeeding and potentially shutting their doors from not adapting to new trends and technology.
Though not all of these trends will impact every business, here’s a few of the key trends small businesses should look out for in the next decade.
We have already started to see this trend come to life in the marketplace, but with advances in technology and communications, employees working remotely is becoming easier than ever. Additionally, employees are looking for more flexibility, autonomy, and convenience with their working lives that working remotely can deliver. Removing the need to commute frees up important hours in employees days and a better work-life balance, increased productivity, and improved employee satisfaction.
With the American workforce looking for additional flexibility, we’ve also seen the rise of the gig economy becoming an important and pervasive trend in the marketplace. Employees are still committed to building their careers, but are also building side hustles or gigs outside of normal working hours. Not all employees are looking to replace their full-time position either, they are simply supplementing their income with a side gig that is more directly tied to a passion or hobby of theirs, and allows for more financial flexibility.
Data is extremely important for businesses to understand the who, what, where, when, and why customers are interacting with them. With the rise of ecommerce and digital marketing, it’s easier than ever for businesses to collect data on their customers, and harness that to improve customer loyalty, retention, and advocacy. It’s always more cost effective for a business to maintain an existing customer than to attract a new one, so using the data you already have to your advantage is important to drive sales and success. Small businesses looking to utilize this data like the big companies do is important for their continued success in the next decade.
Though the focus of your business is always providing your customers with an excellent customer experience, for most businesses, this is best achieved through your employees. And companies with satisfied and passionate employees will always succeed. For most businesses, their employees are the “face” of the business when interacting with customers, and customers always remember and appreciate a positive, helpful, and uncomplicated experience dealing with employees.
For small businesses focused on strategic growth and making decisions to move their business into the new decade, the focus on your “why” is crucial. It’s less of a focus on how and what you’re doing that drives decision making, but why you’re in business and what you’re looking to accomplish for yourself and your customers. It’s more important than ever to connect all of your business and strategic decisions back to your mission and vision to drive your business forward in the new decade.