2020 has been one of the most unique years in a long time. Businesses have had to adapt to a wide range of changes, some of which were impossible to predict. If you want your company to succeed in these challenging times, it’s essential that you stay on top of the latest trends and incorporate them into your business. Here are 6 of the latest trends you should be aware of:
1. Remote Work
Perhaps the most noteworthy trend is the shift towards remote work. As the world still deals with a global health crisis, thousands of companies have had to transition their entire work online. Millions of employees are now working from home, and some companies like Facebook are even saying this trend may continue well beyond that of the health crisis. To ensure your company is able to thrive going forward, you need a system in place that allows your team to work from home.
For this, you’ll need a few things. To start, each member of your team will need a reliable computer within their home. If anyone on your team doesn’t have one, you will need to supply it for them. Then, on each computer, you’ll need software that makes working from home possible. This includes communication tools, project management software, video chat capabilities, and more. If you don’t have a system in place for having as many of your employees as possible work from home, now is the time to figure it out.
2. Application Modernization
When was the last time you updated the software and tools your business uses? Technology changes at such a rapid pace that things you installed a few years ago may be out of date already. To keep your business trending in the right direction, you need to update the tools you use. This process is known as Application Modernization.
According to some stats in this Application Modernization article from Prolifics, older applications can take up to 60-80% of your entire IT budget. This means not only are you likely wasting time by using outdated software, but you’re wasting money as well. Spend some time going through each of the applications you use and see if there are more modern versions you can upgrade to.
Automating as much of your business as you can is a key trend for 2020 and beyond. Through automation processes, you can reduce the workload of your team and complete simple tasks in a shorter amount of time. This will allow your team to focus on more important tasks and get more done throughout the day.
There are many areas of your business you can automate. One example is using chatbots in your customer service. Businesses can install a chatbot on their website, or through social media sites like Facebook, and have it answer common customer service questions. This would free up your customer service team to only handle more complicated issues and reduce your overall customer service wait time.
For more information on ways to automate parts of your business, check out this guide.
4. Meet with Your Peers
Working as an entrepreneur can often feel lonely. If you started the business on your own, you may feel isolated from others. Everyone you work with is an employee, making it hard to form personal connections with them. A great thing any business owner can do is meet up with other entrepreneurs and business owners.
Look for networking events in your area you can attend or find online groups you can join. Meeting with your peers provides many benefits, such as making new business connections, having people you can talk to about running a business and socializing outside your normal circles. Once you start meeting with like-minded individuals, you’ll even find that it motivates you to improve your business further.
5. Cloud Migration
Two big trends going forward are data security and the ability to work on the go. To set your business up for both of these, you should look into cloud migration. Cloud migration is when you transition your data and applications to operate on a cloud, rather than on the physical computing devices within your office. An example of the cloud is services like Dropbox and Google Drive, which allow you to store information online and retrieve it from any other device.
By migrating more of your business onto the cloud, you can protect essential data and improve mobility. Having sensitive files stored on a computer within your office is dangerous – all it would take is a burst pipe or fire to lose that information forever. As for mobility, it’s much more convenient to be able to access your files and get work done no matter where you are. Imagine if a client calls you with an urgent request, but you couldn’t handle it right away because you were an hour away from your office?
6. Focus on Sustainability
Finally, the last trend you should focus on is sustainability. Sustainability is the act of ensuring your business operates in a way that is beneficial to the planet. Doing so can not only lead to significant cost reductions for your company but can also increase your customer base. More and more, people are looking to shop at businesses that share their values. If you can honestly promote yourself as a sustainable business, you’ll likely draw in more customers.
There are several ways you can go about becoming more sustainable. You could install energy-saving appliances in your office, go paperless, or produce your products from recycled materials. For more ways to make your business sustainable, you can use these tips.
Always Look for the Latest Trends
The world around your business is always changing and it’s important that you change with it. If you don’t keep up with the latest trends, you’ll find the world passing you by and your competitors getting ahead of you. Schedule some time every few weeks to research the latest trends and see which ones might make sense for your business. Not every trend will be right for you, but by always knowing what’s out there, you can at least make better-informed decisions for your business.