2018 is going to be an interesting year for businesses in Britain, especially because the OECD is projecting an economic slowdown. Being aware of the trends and preparing for them will help make sure that your business isn’t negatively affected and that you can still hit your goals going forward.
With the increasing rise of artificial intelligence and Brexit on the horizon, for example, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure your business stays profitable.
Reliance on Technology
Everyone is relying on technology more every year — and that means it’s important to have a presence on the Internet. If you aren’t appearing in Google’s local three pack or don’t have an optimised website set up yet, it’s time to change that. It will increase the ability of people to find you online and then get them into your retail location or convince them to use your services.
A better online presence also benefits you because it makes your business appear more trustworthy. When people can find you as they do research, you become a viable option that they remember when it’s time to buy. If you aren’t online for them to find, you won’t even be an option for them to consider.
It’s more important than ever to take care of your employees and yourself. Study after study shows that happier employees perform better and it will also improve the morale at your company. When your employees are happy, the mood of your business is better which affects everything from how customers perceive the environment to how much people enjoy their time at work.
To improve the work-life balance of your employees, consider adding healthy living initiatives or seminars that focus on educating them on health and wellness. You should also consider rewarding good work rather than focusing on negative work, because it’s been shown that positive reinforcement is a stronger motivator than the fear of punishment. Working to improve the work-life balance at your business is always time well spent.
Preparing for Market Changes
With things in such disarray as the UK prepares for Brexit, it’s important to understand what the potential changes mean to your business. A thorough understanding can help you prepare in advance for the new challenges your business might encounter.
One of the most important changes businesses face is the challenge of doing business across country lines. It’s possible that it won’t be as easy to import or export items across international lines once changes from Brexit take place. This means that your production or delivery times could be significantly slowed. It’s important to plan now for how you’ll react to the changes so that you’re able to adapt more quickly to your new business challenges.
It’s essential to market to the rights groups for your products and services first and foremost. If you’re selling children’s toys, aiming for a market of single, childless people won’t produce the best return on your investment. Sometimes, though, you have to consider which group has money to spend.
According to Nielsen, multicultural millennials have the most buying power. That’s something to keep in mind when you’re designing your marketing strategy. If you aren’t sure which group to work with, consider aiming your efforts at the group with money and the inclination to spend it. Of course, it’s important to do market research to break down the population further. The same Nielsen study says that Asian-American Millennials spend more than other people on skin care products, for example.
Another important business trend to consider is the rise of automation. This can work to your advantage no matter what industry you’re in. Being able to automate processes will save serious time and let you focus on the things that matter. Offering automation to your customers may also make them more likely to patronise your business because they appreciate the convenience.
For example, options like ordering in advance, mobile check in, or signing up for services online or through an app are attractive benefits that can help you make a great impression on customers.
Of course, it’s not just about offering automation to your customers. You can take advantage of it yourself. For example, if you’re still making invoices by hand for each customer or using ones that don’t look professional and put together, an invoice template service can save time and let you put a more professional face forward. You might be surprised at the number of things you can do to save time — which is especially important when you’re trying to save money on payroll.
Artificial intelligence is becoming good enough that you can use it in your business. For example, apps like Siri can actually send payments to people at your bequest. Virtual assistants who are artificially intelligent can help your business save time and money when utilised properly. The market is on the rise, so it’s worth getting in now and starting to take advantage of its benefits early.
Total Experience Management
It’s no longer enough to provide a quality service — you need to connect with the emotional experience of your customer when possible. Total Experience Management refers to the entire experience the customer has with your business, not just how they use your product or service. It’s important to differentiate yourself from the competition by creating moments with the customer that stick with them. You want to give them a reason to take what you have to offer instead of going with a competing business.
Prepare for 2018 by understanding the important upcoming trends facing your business. Between changes in the government, the importance of technology, and new access to money-saving services, there’s a lot to consider. Making the right moves can help ensure that you stay profitable and growing in 2018 and beyond.