As we move towards the end of another year and the beginning of a new decade, it’s a time that a lot of people like to think about new beginnings. For those of us who are of an entrepreneurial tendency, what that means can vary – something new we plan to do with an existing business, perhaps, or a completely new business altogether? Either way, the number 2020 isn’t just an arbitrary point for putting a New Year’s Resolution into action. It is, in addition, a step into a changing world.
If you are planning something new in a business sense this coming year, then it is essential to realise that this is a far more complicated era than it appears on the surface. While a brief glance at a few newspapers would tell you one thing when it comes to prevailing trends, a look beneath the surface delivers the message that, in fact, the future seems to be a lot more open than a lot of trends – particularly political ones – might suggest. So a business looking to make a positive impact in 2020 will need to take some account of the following:
1. Consumers have never given more thought to purchases
If your business idea is in any way customer-facing, then you will be well-served by bearing in mind that for a variety of reasons, businesses are dealing with a more informed marketplace than ever before. Once upon a time, if you needed to make a big-ticket purchase, you would head to a shop and pick out the best option you saw. Now, people will not open their wallet without researching their purchase online and seeking ways to get the best price on it. As such, you must ensure that you market your business prominently and informatively. Don’t waste the voice you have.
2. It’s no longer just the young who are tech-savvy
Demographics have always been a major part of market research, and can make the difference between a business placing ads in one magazine or another, or even whether the business needs a website. These days, whether your target customer is 18 or 80, there’s a better than even chance that they’ll be looking online for businesses like yours. Consulting with web development experts on how to make sure you have a web presence that appeals to a broad audience – or is well-enough targeted at a more specific one – is essential.
3. Automation is coming, but it’s not taking over
While the futuristic idea of robots taking over the world seems to get closer with every passing year, and has got an extra shot in the arm with an increase in automation, it would be a mistake to think that investing in automating more of your processes will pay off right now. There are some aspects of business that AI just can’t do that well right now, and despite a lot of research, customer service is one of those. Increasing numbers of people want businesses with a social conscience – and that’s best achieved by having humans in control of processes.
Regardless of how well-prepared you are, 2020 will have a few surprises in store for startups. However, if you keep the above in mind, you should be able to move fast enough to stay ahead of them.