Whatever your business plans are for 2019, it’s important that you stay connected to societal trends, because you never know what the future may hold! We’ve had a look at some of the top trends to look out for this year.
You may have heard about cryptocurrency last year and in particular Bitcoin, the digital currency that took the world by storm. It was difficult to avoid it, as it was front page news of most of the national newspapers. But what you probably didn’t hear about that much was the technology behind it: blockchain.
In a nutshell, it’s a way to store information online in a safe way, and allows digital information to be distributed and shared, but not copied.
The potential of this technology is already being used to draft contracts; store client information for industries like health care; transferring money overseas and even voting.
Expect 2019 to be the year where you hear less about Bitcoin and more about blockchain.
2018 was the year when a series of reports came out which detailed the huge damage that was being done to the environment.
Now issues around the environment are nothing new, but 2018 saw things go up a notch in terms of coverage In October. A UN report was released which warned that we only have a dozen years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, before irreparable damage is done.
It is very possible that 2019 will be the year where sustainability and green technology becomes the norm to help reverse this crisis. According to Forbes magazine:
“Political will and public pressure will elicit shifts in policy and regulations, even as they disrupt industries which continue with unsustainable operations.”
This might mean that you need to to start thinking about ways that your business can promote sustainable initiatives to help the environment. You can read more about ways to do that here.
According to a piece in Real Business.co.uk this could be something as simple as switching off all your devices at the end of the day.
You could consider the way your product is packaged and if there is a way this could be more environmentally friendly.
This is certainly something to watch closely, not just this year, but over the coming years as environmental concerns become more immediate.
You’ve probably heard about GDPR, which came into effect in May last year. It’s quite a complex subject. But on a basic level it means that companies cannot send people unsolicited emails without their permission, or pass a customer’s data onto a third party without consent.
Businesses will need to be much smarter in the way they engage with potential customers. You’ll have to market yourself in more appealing ways to get someone's attention. This will mean delivering content which is genuinely useful to your customers.
Let’s take this scenario: you’re a local coffee shop that has just started out, with a lovely new website to show off to your customers. But you want it to be seen and visible. One thing you can do is create a best coffee guide that educates people on how to create a great brew from home.
This is not just a great way to educate, but will also develop trust amongst customers. And you can ask for their email address when they are downloading the guide.
There is no doubt trust in brands (whatever the size) will be a big theme in this new GDPR market.
Another trend on the rise is unquestionably the rise of cybersecurity being used in businesses. Unfortunately, there has been a significant rise in cyber attacks on businesses within the last 12 months. According to findings from gov.uk around four in ten businesses in the UK suffered a data breach.
In addition to this, the high profile data breaches at HSBC and Facebook illustrate the fact that all businesses - however big or small - need to take this very seriously.
2019 is going to be a year where businesses invest more in cyber security to keep their businesses safe.
If you aren’t thinking about this cyber security perhaps now is the time to start.
Apologies. We know this topic is being spoken about to death, but the outcome of a deal (or if there is any deal at all) might be very significant for your business.
As a business owner it’s very important to stay informed.
The next few months should create a bit more clarity on what Brexit actually entails, and more importantly, how industries might be affected.