As we all know too well, in the business world, there seems to be many trends that come and go. This is especially true in the technology sector where hype over new innovations can spread like wildfire but will eventually fizzle out just as quickly. It is therefore very important to research meticulously before making any important decisions. If you are trying to make a quick profit as many did with certain cryptocurrencies before they crashed, try to get in early and get out at the right time.
Here, we list the 3 business trends we believe are the best to consider in 2018:
This is mostly true in Western countries where e-commerce is set to overtake physical stores for number of sales. In an era defined by improving efficiency to cut costs (as the cost of human labour increases), the overheads associated with bricks and mortar stores are beginning to take their toll on formerly huge companies. The decline of stores such as Sears in the US and Woolworths in the UK are prime examples of lower in-store sales and the failure of these businesses to adapt to new climates.
Businesses are now moving to reduce their overheads, which can include outsourcing their work to cheaper markets (e.g. the BPO industry booming in India and the Philippines) and utilising all their assets to the maximum, becoming more efficient in house. Think companies with excess office space installing room scheduler software; a relatively cheap way to ensure that use of rooms are being maximised.
We’ve seen many businesses prioritise profit margins over customer service and, nowadays, the environment as well. But with increasing social awareness and potential public backlash, businesses are beginning to realise that in many cases, showing strong values can increase profit, even more so than discounted prices. Take for example the airline Ryanair, once known for its rock-bottom prices and customer service to match. Ryanair has had a surge in profit since their be-nice strategy came into play.
Many businesses are learning either the easy or the hard way about the importance of a positive reputation in the public eye. Recycling and waste reduction are becoming the norm not just because of pressure from the stakeholders, but also due to laws put in place by governments who also want to be shown as proactive and forward-thinking in such situations.
It is clear now that values are an important aspect of maintaining a business’ longevity, and this is a trend which will become even more apparent in 2018.
Despite the many criticisms that human jobs are at risk from automation, the argument that it in fact creates more jobs–at the very least, more skilled jobs for humans–seems to gain strength by the day. Businesses are more willing to initially spend big on automation on the premise that it will contribute towards bigger savings over time. We are now seeing a rapid development in areas such as autonomous cars to automated accountancy, which still are part of labour-intensive industries (but potentially not for much longer).
If you expect your business to continue growing and would like to keep pace or surpass competitors, it is imperative that these trends be carefully considered. These three trends have been developing for the past few years with no sign of stopping, and should be highly thought of if you aim to improve your business.