Each new year brings a wave of changes and trends that alter and even redefine the business landscape. 2018, of course, is no exception. With the steady march of technology and the introduction of new innovations across various industries, stagnation is any business’s biggest obstacle in the path to success.
If you want to guide your business towards growth, profitability, and sustainability, you need to know — and prepare for — what lies ahead. Here are five of the most significant business trends you’ll want to gear up for next year.
Smart technology and artificial intelligence will play an even bigger role in our lives.
As more and more companies embrace artificial intelligence (AI) to make our lives easier, you can expect the businesses of 2018 to focus on providing high-quality content and services to consumers, tailor-fit to their specific needs and wants. In the same way that path-finding and ride-sharing apps use AI and GPS to show drivers and users the most efficient way to get from one location to another, AI will see even greater use as a means of faster service delivery and more effective processes.
Live interactions and engagement will allow consumer communities — and your brand — to thrive.
We’ve all heard so many experts speak out about how social media and the increasingly interconnected digital world are driving a wedge between us and our personal relationships. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the opposite. Through technology, we are growing as an even stronger global tribe, and this is evident in the rising trend of live interactions via video on social media platforms. Quickly fading into obsolescence are the days when simply posting content would be enough to keep your customers engaged. They are now in for the full experience, looking for that human connection with your brand that would set you apart from the rest and develop their loyalty to you. Never underestimate the power of live interaction with your audience, as it’s the most effective means of showing how genuine you are.
Our shared desire to learn will further strengthen our social bonds.
Despite the preponderance of free learning resources and courses online, the best kind of training that you can give to your employees is still through personal interaction.
The role of social learning — learning through interacting with your peers in a social setting — simply cannot be denied. It is not restricted to formal encounters, and can even come as casually as an opportunity for co-workers to talk during their break time, or a team stumbling upon a problem that they need to work together on in order to solve. This exchange of ideas not only increases the likelihood of learning, but also trains individuals to think on their feet and thrive without much supervision. Thus, in the coming year, it would not be surprising for more companies to incorporate this type of learning model into their operations.
Remote working will become even more popular and widely practiced.
Although not an entirely new development, remote working is expected to see increased popularity in the coming years. While issues on productivity will no doubt persist, they will be at a significantly reduced degree due to the abundance of productivity-boosting apps and processes out there that businesses can adopt. The cost savings are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the good that can come out of embracing remote working — and there’s no better time than 2018 to enjoy the full range of benefits that it can provide your enterprise.
Consumers’ privacy will remain their top priority.
Over the past few years, reports of business databases getting hacked kept popping up with alarming frequency. In 2018, consumers will be even more careful and cautious than ever. Expect them to put up shields — digital and otherwise — when it comes to interacting with businesses, whether live or online. Consumers may be less likely to provide personal information, which means your business would have to work even harder at presenting an image that your target market can trust.
One cannot predict with certainty where business trends will be headed as the new year comes in. What we can do, though, is pay attention to the signs and stay on top of the game while we still can — especially when it’s your business’s longevity that’s at stake.
Give your business an excellent competitive edge this 2018 with solid advice and assistance from our experts here at Easdowns. We provide business and financial advisory services to help you maximise the potential of your business, achieve your goals and secure your financial future.
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