There’s no doubt the coronavirus pandemic and the ways businesses had to adjust to ensure their survival changed the trajectory of what 2021 will look like and what businesses should do to get ready for the upcoming year. As we moved forward into the year, we saw a high demand for many businesses, some of which were already booming and some, which saw a boost because of the pandemic.
Here are the top 10 trends that will drive every business in 2021:
1. Work from Home… for Real:
When employees were under lockdown orders due to COVID, companies had to adapt their operations to a remote workforce. Now that employees are working from home, most businesses are now rethinking their entire business model. Are offices still needed? Some companies experienced an increase in productivity when their workforce went remote. However, working for home was not ideal for others. Therefore, in 2021, businesses need to reimagine their own workspaces as well as provide the proper support for people working from home. Those businesses that provide a remote work facilitation can benefit in the future.
2. Data as an Asset:
Over the last few years, data volumes have grown massively. The businesses that leveraged this data to better understand their customers and to improve their decision- making are clearly the ones that are outperforming everyone else. Cloud solutions allow us to access data from anywhere. Business need to protect and secure data just as they would any other asset. Another important thing for businesses to consider is how to boost data literacy in their company in 2021 in order to glean decision- making insights from it. This also requires an investment in systems that can efficiently and effectively process, analyze and store the data streaming into the organization.
3. Business Model Innovation:
In 2021, every business leader needs to reflect on what they are offering customers and how they operate as a business. There were many industries that got completely transformed in 2020, such as the hospitality and events industry. The businesses that are currently thriving even during a pandemic are those that reacted quickly to the changes. For example, restaurants that pivoted to enable expanded take-out abilities or formula 1 companies that were producing ventilators altered their typical operations to ensure survival. Although business have always had to think about how the market is shifting and what transformations they need to make. It will be more important in 2021 to innovate your business model.
Another top business trend in 2021 is automation. Business evaluate their processes to see where they can take people out of the process when they are not adding any true value. There have already been quite a few shifts in this direction from warehouses, supply chains, autonomous vehicles, trucks and ships as well as chat bots that automatically take over customer service inquiries.
5. Decentralized Finance:
As the result of the economic turmoil COVID- 19 left in its path, capital markets continue to be nervous. This creates a challenge for businesses that want to raise capital to expand or start a new business. One solution for raising capital has been crowd funding, block chain technology and other decentralized finance options. This allows businesses to acquire capital easier than through traditional channels.
6. Virtual Interfaces:
As companies raced to find new ways of delivering service to customers that were not walking into stores. They began to consider how to deliver some of the services in digital forms using technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. To comply with stay- at- home orders, people would use virtual avatars to “try” on make- up, eyewear and clothes. Ultimately this “try before you buy” with virtual interfaces will transform how businesses offer their services.
E-commerce has been a trend in recent years and continues to grow especially after the pandemic situation, more brick and mortar stores are going online whether it is through their own website or through other channels like Amazon and Alibaba.
8. Creative Services:
Since most businesses have gone online and every new business has an online presence, they require services like digital marketing and content creation. It is not possible for many businesses especially new ones to hire employees for this task, so they outsource this work by hiring companies that offer these services.
Sustainability has been a concern for some time, but during the pandemic things shifted in emphasis. As disruptive as the coronavirus was to business, companies are recognizing that
Environmental crisis could be much more damaging to the world than the pandemic. Therefore, every company needs to rethink operations, environmental impact their products are causing. Many new startups are already working to make products that are eco-friendly and can reduce carbon emissions.
Many online teaching websites have already been helping people learn new skills but with a growing demand, there is still a tremendous need for online courses. The world is already moving at a fast pace and therefore new skills are always needed even for people who already have jobs. It would be very time consuming to go and study in a University for 2-4 years just to learn a skill you can acquire in a matter of weeks, thanks to online courses.
The most important thing to know before starting any new business is to understand what kind of problems there are and how can we overcome them. If you are still unsure about what kind of business you should start, then we do have a course on Brand Development that can guide you in a more effective and comprehensive manner, from the discovery phase to the implementation. Our goal is to help as many people start their own businesses as possible. Click here to learn more about this course.