I thought I would take a look at future trends in business for 2021. Kind of a what will be happening in the world of business in 2021? The optimist in me would then see what opportunity exists.
I entered on Bing, “Trends in Business for 2021,” and found nothing that would be applicable in March of 2021. I then headed over to YouTube and found an interesting presentation by Bernard Marr called “The Ten Biggest Business Trends for 2021” posted on Dec. 6, 2020.
The tenth trend is an obvious one. Work from home is real. JLL, a research firm on office occupancy, estimates that total vacancy at year end 2020 was 17.1%. Therefore, about 1 in 5 offices is available.
The next trend is that data is an asset. Large businesses have already adopted such an approach. Small business must embrace data for future success. Small business needs to seek data that is available to better understand customers and help with decision-making.
The eighth trend is one that I am adopting currently. This trend is business model innovation. Flexibility with adaptation is imperative, as one must compete with competitors and with society demands, i.e. COVID-19 mandates. Transformation becomes a business’s friend.
The next trend for 2021 is automation. It is and will happen. My last surgery was completed with a robot. The doctor simply operated the robot.
The sixth trend Marr lists is decentralized finance. Money sources. Money is difficult to secure for a business. However, in the future, there will be very different opportunities to secure funding for a business. Think variations of Shark Tank.
Virtual interface is the next trend. I am amazed at the eyeglass provider Warby-Parker. I see their commercials on television. They have a very different approach to their business.
A surprise for me is the fourth trend. Marr cites that the trend is moving from global to local. He cites that the supply chain has been so disrupted by COVID-19 that if one can source something locally, rather than wait on the uncertainly of a global source, one will elect the certainty of a local source. This is great for a local small business.
The third and second business trends are that businesses will adopt (3) purpose, meaning, and (2) assure sustainability. This is wonderful for our community, the environment, and society. I know that I have continued in my community involvement as a volunteer mediator with Quad City Mediation Services. We perform our service via Go To Meeting. Employees and customers want to connect to an organization that has purpose, meaning, and is environmentally sensitive.
The first trend Marr presents is: social engagement. Organizations search for the opportunity to engage with and better understand the needs of customers through social engagement. I would add that here is an opportunity to advertise and seek opportunities for improvement with current and future customers.
The current state for business in 2021 is uncertain, yet opportunities are there for those who seek to leverage their business in a new and different manner.