5 Ways The Future of Small Business Will Change
- Business operations and consumer behavior have shifted dramatically over the last few months, resulting in several new trends emerging as small businesses learn to adapt. We have made a list of 5 of these trends that are likely to stick around and transform small businesses in the future!
- Having an online site is a must.
- While many industries are not new to e-commerce, there are plenty of categories that were either not available online or had little online availability. This resulted in many businesses being shut off to customers completely. Going forward, many stores are learning to pivot and not only launch a website but find creative ways of being able to sell their products/services online that were never available before. It is crucial for businesses owners to keep their doors open with their online presence.
- Teleservices will become the new norm.
- Services that were only accessible face to face are now using teleservice to conduct services such as doctor appointments, fitness classes and therapy sessions. Although teleservices will probably never replace these industries completely, it will most definitely transform these services going forward and cut costs for both customers and the providers.
- Embracing flexible work environments.
- Business that were once strictly 9-5 are now required to adapt to remote work. While this was challenging for many businesses, it also proved that many traditional work settings can still perform in a more flexible environment. Many businesses will likely embrace remote work going forward. Collaboration tools such as Zoom, Slack, Google Docs and Calendly have empowered remote office collaboration. Business travel will also most likely cut back in favor for video conferencing platforms.
- The demand for delivery.
- Expectations for shipping and delivery have changed. Many businesses supply chains were clogged as demand for delivery suddenly skyrocketed. With services like Amazon Prime, the maximum days people are willing to wait for an item to be delivered is rapidly decreasing. It is no longer just about offering free or low shipping rates, but what retailer can deliver your purchase the quickest.
- Industries such as restaurants and grocers are now scrambling to offer delivery. Third party delivery services such as Door Dash and Postmates are working for the short term but are often very costly for businesses owners. We foresee more and more industries taking these delivery services in house to cut cost and control demand.
- Businesses practicing increased hygiene.
- Customer confidence will play a large role in business returning to “normal”. Enhanced hygiene practices will be the expectation for years to come. Customers want to know they are in a clean and safe environment. This could range from hourly cleanings instead of nightly to now offering only contactless payment solutions. Communication with customers about your new practices and procedures will also be a new norm.
Many small businesses have had to make adjustments to their business operations - many for the better! Pushing business owners to launch an online store or take a deeper look in to how to strengthen their supply chains. We believe that these emerging trends will play an important role in the future of business and hope they provide you with some insight. Look Local First is a place for small businesses and their supporters. If you have any information to share with the community, feel free to comment!