Unpreparedness became the bane of many businesses in the past year. After surviving the long months of a COVID-19-stricken economy, business owners are now more vigilant in incorporating market trends. It’s a necessity they need to reinforce if they want their company to stay afloat in today’s complex and competitive market.
Nearing the halfway point of 2021, business owners shouldn’t be complacent about the current state of the market. Many changes are expected to pop up within the year that could have massive implications for business processes. Thankfully, there are signs you can pinpoint to give your company a sense of direction when maneuvering these different obstacles.
Preparing Your Business for Change
Change is an inevitable aspect of any market or business. For this reason, entrepreneurs need to have enough foresight to see where these trends show signs of developing. Otherwise, they could put their operation at risk of suffering massive losses. This is how most establishments shut down due to COVID-19. To avoid another phenomenon of that scale, business owners must see where their competitors are heading and how it affects their company’s goals.
If you want your business to stay prepared in 2021, here are five trends you should anticipate:
1. Reinforcing Cybersecurity
Consumer reliance on technology creates a back-and-forth between customer preferences and business models. Since we’re living in a world of fast-paced digital transformation, every service provider needs to have digital platforms. Unfortunately, this also means an added layer of security risk.
As of October 2020, Statista notes that there were over 4.66 billion active internet users. This covers more than half of the world’s population, reflecting the impact of digital innovation. It’s an exponential rise due to the prerequisites of COVID-19’s threat. Since many businesses were forced to shift online, increased internet users for customers and company staff was necessary.
Because more businesses are dependent on online platforms, the rise in cybercriminal activity also increased exponentially. Malwarebytes reported over 20% of US businesses experiencing security breaches at the time, with the number of cases expected to rise. This is why it’s vital to reinforce your business model with added security protocols and risk assessment strategies.
2. Optimizing Remote Operations
As mentioned above, remote working was a necessary adaptation to maintain business operations amidst the pandemic. Workplaces across the globe had to make a sudden shift to remote setups, with some being more successful than others. Part of the consequences of working from home is the eventual burning out that many workers felt throughout 2020. Even in 2021, this remains a primary concern for many firms and employees.
Low productivity and dwindling retention rates are the potential consequences of having unoptimized remote operations. With the pandemic being as it is now, remote work may be more common in the future. For this reason, businesses must make changes to their business model to accommodate a healthy implementation of work-from-home setups. This starts with adjusting your workplace policies and investing in capable HR personnel.
3. Leveraging Automation and AI
Digital information isn’t just about using digital platforms; it also involves using advanced apps and software to streamline business processes. Advanced technology allows businesses to cut down on menial labor by embracing the benefits of automation and AI. With businesses benefiting from speeding up IT processes through AI, machine learning, and task automation tools, any inefficiency will have an immediate solution.
The benefits of AI are still just in their early beginnings, but its many applications are already in use by many companies. For example, chatbots serve as excellent entry points to speed up the lead generation process. This enables your sales representatives to have a smoother conversation with potential leads while optimizing time spent online.
4. Managing Internal and External Relations
Internal and external relations need to have a greater impact on your operations. Besides investing in your customers, you must also value your workforce. Modern employees are at risk of job-hopping due to the rigidness of their employers. Since the onboarding process is a costly and time-consuming effort, you need to ensure that your applicants will have a considerable mileage of staying in your company.
People management will ensure that work-at-home policies are more optimized to prevent unnecessary stress for your staff without compromising work output. Remember that it’s a company owner’s overall responsibility to guide your team toward growth, not just your business’s sales figures.
There are many software and digital tools you can use to improve your employee management systems. You can opt for HR management tools that provide real-time feedback and responses to assist your employees, especially during difficult times. If you listen to your team’s needs, your company’s output will grow exponentially.
5. Embracing Authenticity
Digital marketing has been the leading contributor to a business’s success. With the market’s landscape leaning towards digital engagement, more and more companies are shifting their marketing efforts to online spaces. However, consumers are quick to notice these attempts at gaining their favor.
Gone are the days when customers would eat up anything that comes out of the television or newspaper. They now have a greater understanding of marketing principles and the effects of ads on their daily life. For this reason, brands must strive to do away with the facades and masks of a faceless image. Authenticity and connection are the two critical elements of a successful digital marketing campaign.
Focus more on what your company wants to say instead of what it wants to sell. Remember that your value to a customer depends on the narrative journey you take them on. The better you can sell your vision, and the more authentic your intentions, the more likely consumers will subscribe to your brand.
A prepared business owner is less at risk of falling into the danger of suffering losses due to the unexpected. An efficient way to prepare for the trends above is to have a capable roster on your side. It’s much more difficult to solve a problem if you don’t have the right team to support you every step of the way. This is why it’s vital to anticipate the events above by reinforcing your staff with the right specialists. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend weeks screening potential applicants for your job openings.
CrewBloom is a remote staffing agency that provides efficient solutions for all your outsourcing needs. Hire our assortment of premium talent, ranging from digital marketers to appointment setters across the globe. If you want to reinforce your team to brace for the future, contact us today!