Predicting “tomorrow’s” business trends is a lot like predicting the weather: it’s never usually 100 percent accurate, but it does give you a ruff estimate of what to expect. And as business experts roll out their proverbial red carpet for the new trends of 2016, there are many changes to anticipate, or at least many changes to predict.
In preparation for the annual ‘business climate change,’ here are 9 trends every professional and consumer can plan for:
- Human Resources Will Adjust To A Ever-Evolving Workforce
Recruiting costs are expected to steadily increase over the course of the year, resulting in longer vacancies regarding open positions as well as more difficulties in finding skilled employees. Between the steady streams of employees pressuring for higher wages and the accelerating costs of staffing agencies—businesses will find 2016 a tougher time for landing talent.
- With The Current State Of The Economy Sturdy, Expect Baby Boomers To Retire
Expect the market to be flooded with the baby boomer demographic looking to sell their place of business. Now, sooner than later, is the time to sell if (in fact) you are looking to retire and sell your small business. Competition will quickly intensify between other aspiring retirees, which can lead to a dramatic devaluation of your business.
- It’s Either Go-Go Or Go Home
Many of today’s consumers are more likely to purchase goods and services on their smartphones, tablets or computers than on the retail shelves.
To keep up with this “click-and-pay” purchasing trend, it’s imperative to make sure your customers can efficiently get what they want, when they want it. Whether it’s partnering up with a credit card processing service or mobile credit card reader, your consumers will want to have options. Make sure you’re not left in the dust of dated-payment options.
Small businesses will also have to become more efficient at anticipating point of sale (POS) market changes. With a younger, Web-based economy continuing its surge in popularity, small businesses will have to be better prepared for market modifications; for example, planning for Black Friday should be completed weeks in advance. That means making sure processing equipment is functioning properly, etc.
- Larger Threat To Smaller Businesses
In 2016, cyberattacks are expected to increase, and smaller businesses are likely the most vulnerable target. And as more businesses transition into a cloud-first (‘cloud generation’) mentality, virtual thieves will have more opportunities for breaching data and identity theft. Cybersecurity should be of top priority for ALL business as the ‘Dark Web’ continues its disturbing growth.
- Location Marketing Will Become Mainstream
As technology continues its infinite progression, location marketing (signaling promotional messages to customers who are within distance), will become a cornerstone strategy for companies to deploy.
- Mobile Website Design Will Be Imperative To A Company’s Success
As Internet speed strengthens, so does the demand for mobile online purchasing. Businesses without a strong mobile-Web presence risk more than just falling sales, but also their consumer-relevance. Not having a website specifically designed for mobile access will have serious tribulations for companies (small and large). And as the influence of the Millennial generation continues to grow, companies must adjust to this demographic that mandates quicker, fully functional, and sleeker features than previous generations of buyers.
- Advancements In Analytical Data
Emotional analytics prompts a pivotal change in the way businesses are able to analyze customers. Companies will have more access to understanding emotional engagement, and learn which ads and/or messages influence sales and public relations.
- Higher Probability In Company-Collaboration
Thanks to a rising upsurge in successful start-ups, collaboration between small and big businesses is expected to rise as well. Diversification is already extremely important to the consumers mindset, so a businesses’ ability to identify with a broader demographic will become a growing (and necessary) trend.
- ‘Going Green’ to ‘Social Justice’
Just as a green-philosophy seemed to overtake many of today’s modern industries, businesses will now shift into a stronger focus on social justice. Incorporating present-day commentary will influence emotional action with customers. But that doesn’t just mean that more companies will be donating to charities, it means businesses will be creating products and services specifically designed to affect the world; for example, companies will have a stronger focus on creating products that work towards ending poverty and promoting world peace, climate change and gender equality, etc.