Access to technology has changed the way we function on a daily basis. Some countries have simply progressed quicker than others. As Tech Nation reports, in the United Kingdom, the technology sector is expanding more than 2.5X faster than the rest of the economy.
While technology has a major impact on the way we conduct business, many other outside factors have a similar impact. Some have an even bigger effect. World-changing events like the COVID-19 pandemic we’re experiencing now, affect the world of business the most.
In order to prepare for today’s article, we talked to Bobby Gill, lawyer and personal wealth manager, who knows that staying on top of trends is important for any company that wants to diversify their offering, reach new audiences, and expand their business.
Let’s start with…
1. Full-Time Remote Working
The first thing we discussed with Mr. Gill is by far the most obvious. Since many countries went into quarantine, hundreds of million of people have been forced to work full-time from their homes. Telecommuting isn’t anything new but it has never happened on such a scale.
Telecommuting may have been crucial to sustain production during the pandemic but should we expect things to go back to normal completely after this is over? Mr. Gill feels that the pandemic may have changed the workplace as we know it beyond recognition.
He expects workplaces to adopt new tech solutions that will allow people to work together and collaborate more easily while working remotely. And he’s not alone in this prediction. More than 60% of managers feel that they will start relying on remote work in the future.
2. Alternative Business Lending
Getting a business loan has become increasingly harder over the years. That’s why startups in both Europe and America have been forced to look for funding alternatives. Most alternative funding options have higher acceptance rates.
But that’s not the only reason why alternative business lending is becoming more popular. Crowdfunding and Peer-2-Peer lending is much simpler to apply for, plus, getting financed is also noticeably easier.
Last year, alternative funding saw a noticeable increase in the UK. We can expect startups from 3rd-world countries to start realizing the potential of alternative lending in the next few years. By 2025, experts predict that the global crowdfunding market will surpass $28 billion.
3. Contactless Payment Options
When it comes to global pandemics, you can expect two types of endings: social and medical. The latter is expected to come in in the next 2 years. By then, we will develop vaccines and herd immunity. Social ending, however, will take more time to come.
That means, we can expect to experience the consequences of COVID-19 for years to come. Perhaps even decades. According to lawyer Bobby Gill, this isn’t necessarily bad news. For instance, we’re already seeing an increase in contactless payment options. Contactless transactions have increased 40% in the last 6 months
This is happening because consumers have developed a fear of being contaminated while shopping. The use of mobile payments has also jumped during this time. However, countries like the UK and US are still trailing behind China, where 8 out of 10 consumers use mobile payments on a regular basis.
4. Conscious and Sustainable Shopping
Things like fast food, meat consumption, and plastic materials are becoming less and less popular every year. There’s no reason to believe this trend will not continue in the 20s. Millennials are especially environmentally-conscious.
They want to make a positive impact on the world and to work with companies that share their ideals. All business sectors have been forced to re-examine their manufacturing and packaging practices, as well as their overall values.
Many publications have already referred to 2020 as the “year of sustainability.” Strong morals and ethics are now more important than the products for some people. Companies that fail to make a change will receive a backlash from consumers and be forced to face the consequences.
5. The On-Demand Economy
In the last spot on our list, we have another business trend driven mainly by the current state of affairs. Currently, almost half of work-capable adults avoid leaving their homes. What’s more, around 57% of them would go out of their way to respect the social distancing rules.
Because of this, the on-demand economy has been flourishing for the last couple of months. The market experienced a 27% increase in canned goods, 25% in frozen fruits and vegetables, and 20% increase in overall spending.
As Bobby Gil points out, the sales of these items aren’t sustainable, however, we can expect consumers to continue ordering groceries long after the pandemic is over. This can result in a complete change in consumer habits and change the way a lot of businesses operate.
With that, we are finished. The only question that remains now is what can you do with all of this information? The answer, as Mr. Gil points out, depends on your personal circumstances.
For example, if you’re a business owner, you need to examine how these trends help or hurt your business in the short-run and come up with a long-term plan of action for them.
On the other hand, if you’ve considered starting a business, you should see how these trends can help you shape your idea, attract customers, and fulfill their needs.
Whatever the case may be, if you want to see success, keep an eye on business trends.
Who is Bobby Gill?
For more than two decades, Bobby Gill worked as a lawyer for top UK law firms like Allen & Overy. As a lawyer, he helped thousands of clients manage their wealth. In 2009, Bobby Gill decided to go into business on his own. He started GC Wealth, a wealth management company that has continuously helped high-income individuals manage their finances.
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