A new year brings new possibilities for businesses of all stripes. In today’s business landscape, the only certainty is that change is coming; and that rate of change has only increased in recent years. While none of us can accurately predict the future (we’d be rich if we could!), it’s still possible to make some educated guesses at what’s coming down the pipeline that business owners need to be aware of.
With that in mind, we took our crystal ball out of storage to explore some 2019 business trends to watch out for in the coming months.
Of the many things millennials are accused of, one of the most accurate is their distaste for outdated conventions. The traditional 9-5 office existence sits squarely in their sights, with more and more expecting the option of working remotely. This perk cuts down on transit and food costs for employees, while also promoting a robust improvement to quality of life. In 2019, expect more savvy employers to offer this perk. Companies who don’t will be seen as behind the times and will struggle to attract the best employees.
As anyone in the market for a home can attest, interest rates are rising and it’s a trend that’s poised to continue through 2019. The impact of this reality is likely to be two-fold for Canadian businesses. Customers carrying a debt load will find they have less disposable income to spend on products and services. Businesses who tend to operate with an overdraft will also face higher costs in meeting their own debt obligations. While this outlook may seem gloomy, it presents an opportunity for businesses to reduce the financial burden by taking a conservative approach to cash flow and work to reduce how much they’re spending on debt servicing.
It’s likely at this point you’ve heard of Bitcoin. The largest ‘cryptocurrency’ endured something of a wild ride in 2018, leveling out after a meteoric rise. While it receives most of the publicity, it’s only one small aspect of the emerging blockchain technology. In 2019, blockchain looks set to play an increasing role in the business world, encompassing everything from cloud storage, business contracts, payment methods and even supply chain management.
It’s not just enough to broadcast your message to a large audience and wait for the leads or sales to roll in. Savvy marketers are adopting a more bespoke approach to how they share their message. In 2019, individualizing your marketing isn’t just recommended, it’s going to be necessary to compete. You’ve likely never had more data or analytics available to your business. Use this data to hone in on specific market sectors you’d like to reach. This will allow you to improve the quality of your ads while achieving an improved return on your marketing spend.
This improved data brings with it ethical questions, as you’ve likely seen in the news. Facebook, long the envelope pushers of data usage, suffered a torrid year in 2018 as they spun from one crisis to the next thanks to how they handle user data. Don’t follow their example. Be completely honest and transparent with customers about how their data is being used. You’ll earn a reputation for trustworthiness and clients will appreciate knowing you aren’t profiting in an untoward way from their data.