To say that 2020 has brought a lot of challenges is an understatement, but to continue to succeed and even thrive, small businesses have gotten creative and embraced change. Here are five trends that small businesses owners should latch onto in 2020 to stay ahead of the competition.
So many of us are facing challenges from COVID-19, and now is the time to make health and wellness a priority. Research shows that investing in the health and wellness of your employees can impact your bottom line by keeping them productive, motivated, and engaged.
This trend will certainly continue for the rest of the year and has likely already become something that top talent will expect moving forward. As COVID-19 continues to shape the way we live and work, the most obvious place to start is allowing employees to work from home, even when social distancing is behind us. If working from home isn’t feasible, providing a flexible schedule so they can spend time with their family or catch up on other appointments is something to consider.
2. Generation Z will dominate.
Millennials will soon be outnumbered by Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2012. They’re entering the workforce at a very strange time, but they’re also gaining more and more spending power. To draw them to your business, you have to cater to their unique tastes and values.
Gen Z is drawn to diverse, inclusive, and socially conscious brands. While they’re tech-savvy, they also appreciate things of a more analog nature. They love face-to-face interaction, learning opportunities, and exposure to new and exciting things. Buy trying to appeal to them, your business will appear more innovative overall.
3. Cash is no longer king.
While we’re not yet a cashless society, we are trending that way. Cashless transactions rise every year and, with the pandemic taking hold of the economy, it’s safe to say that they will only rise in 2020.
Going cashless can be a challenge as there are usually fees involved and issues with privacy are always a concern. If you sell online, expand your payment options to include as many mobile payments as possible. With PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and more, mobile payments are the way of the future and are worth exploring.
4. AI is here to stay.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already a part of so many aspects of business, including planning scheduling, time tracking, reviewing data, scheduling meetings, and thwarting cyber attacks. This technology is also used to automate boring tasks and improve analytics and hiring processes, giving you an edge. AI has a lot of benefits, and it isn’t going anywhere. Embrace it for all that it's worth.
5. Mobile marketing will continue to break barriers.
During the pandemic, people are staying connected using their smartphones more than ever before, and this is a trend that is only going to grow in the years to come. To take advantage of this, consider geo-targeting your ads to reach customers who are nearby. You can also build an app to connect directly with your customers, encourage mobile payments, and send coupon codes via SMS.