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Small business trends to expect in the next 12 months

The business world is changing rapidly due to advanced technology and higher expectations. Some people and businesses are sticking to their ways, but many SMEs are adapting to fit this changing market. These are 4 of the most common trends we expect to see become normal in small businesses in the next 12 months.

   1. Sustainability

Sustainability is now a major factor that many people will look for in a business so SMEs won’t be able to afford to neglect sustainability. Consumers, especially millennials, are especially more likely to buy from businesses who are promoting their initiatives. They see the actions of businesses as a crucial part of the solution for combating climate change and other global problems. SMEs are in a better position than larger corporations for implementing these changes as they have less dependency on existing energy solutions and can implement schemes to ensure that they remain green. This can be things that are as simple as turning off light switches and electronic devices at the end of the day to going paperless. Doing this and recycling materials can also be used for successful PR campaigns.

   2. Employee communication

Something that experts believe to now be more important in a business than before is communication with employees. If small businesses continue to maintain consistent and transparent communication with their employees they will be able to build stronger relationships. One way to do this is by creating an employee handbook, outlining important information for them. This will avoid confusion and will mean employees know what the regulations and procedures are in the workplace, and the management can know what their employees need.

   3. Greater focus on wellness

With the awareness of mental illness becoming increasingly prominent, companies need to adjust, with personalised health and wellness benefits for employees now more important than ever. This can be difficult, especially for smaller businesses, as different team members will have different requirements. Many workers will be attracted to your business based on specialised benefits. This means startups will now be focusing on how to promote wellbeing, for current employees and potential new recruits. Flexible working has obviously become much more common, with the progression of laptops and mobile phones meaning the standard 9-5 working hours are beginning to disappear and instead we can work from anywhere, during any time of the day.

   4. AI integration

With technology advancing faster than ever, it’s clear that small businesses will be adopting bigger and better technologies and strategies. Nowadays, customers have more choice than ever, so they won’t hesitate to be picky when it comes to choosing which company to go with for whatever their needs are. Consumers will gravitate towards those who prioritise the delivery of fast, seamless and personalised services, meaning small businesses will be even more focused on customer service. It’s also likely that we’ll see the integration of AI into many sectors of small businesses. This could be included in their marketing strategies and in their customer support, but it’s clear that as the mainstream begins to join the early adopters, AI could find a home in just about any industry.

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