Probably many small business owners are wondering what to expect in 2019. After all, recognizing or not recognizing a major trend can be the difference between a record year and a year that we would prefer to forget.
For example, many of us ask ourselves how the US economy will affect their businesses. Will the rent finally be completed? How will the younger generations change our workforce? Without a crystal ball, it is difficult to answer all the questions. However, given the trends observed this year, it is possible to make predictions based on what small businesses should prepare for 2019. Here are Openiun.com four most important predictions:
2019 MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE ACQUISITION OF GEN Z
There is no entrepreneur on the planet who is not aware of the need to understand and manage millennia. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are the largest generation of American workers, forcing brands to redefine the products and talents they sell.
However, at the dawn of a new decade, Generation Y is rapidly becoming an old story. The new generation, Generation Z, is a true digital native and their preferences are shaping the future of business success in the coming years.
The group of 86 million people born between 1997 and 2016 is expected to represent 40% of consumers by 2020 and potentially allocate between $ 166 and $ 333 billion of family expenses each year. It is estimated that they have already contributed some 44 billion dollars to the US economy. Smart small business owners are already seeing this generation as a great opportunity.
SMALL BUSINESSES WILL NEED TO GET SAVVY ABOUT HIRING
While the unemployment rate in the United States has reached its lowest level in almost 50 years, the competition to recruit the best talent has become much more competitive. This challenging recruiting environment can be particularly challenging for small businesses, as they must be able to attract workers who can consider higher salaries and benefits richer than those offered by large organizations.
According to the Future Workforce Report, 67% of small businesses announced plans to increase their workforce this year. By mid-2018, however, twice as many small businesses said that hiring in 2017 was more difficult than easy. Towards the end of the year, recruitments declined for several consecutive months, not because the economy had slowed down, but because companies simply could not find enough qualified candidates. Small businesses need to find ways to affirm themselves with talent. These include creative benefits, flexible working conditions and a genuine commitment to the work-life balance of employees.
REMOTE WORK WILL BE THE NEW STANDARD
Many traditionalists believe that office workers are much more efficient. Some believe that the office is the only environment for effective personal interaction and collaboration. Also, they think that when employees work from home, it is too easy to distract or cheat.
It seems the opposite is true: employees who work remotely can be more productive. In fact, a nearly two-year study at Stanford has shown a marked increase in teleworkers’ productivity in a test group equivalent to a full-day job. As noted in the report, homeworkers tended to work a full day (or more) because they did not have to fight to get to work, but to arrive late or to travel earlier, For daily shopping and distractions we spent. In addition, staff reductions were reduced by approximately half, allowing the test group to save approximately $ 1,900 per employee in annual cost maintenance costs. Operating costs also decreased by approximately $ 1,400 per employee, since employees do not use workspaces and do not consume as much energy, water and facilities.
These results are the rule and not the exception, so many small businesses not only allow remote work scenarios, but even promote them. In the Upwork survey I mentioned, the majority (60%) of small business recruiters reported that telecommuting was more.
SMALL BUSINESSES WILL USE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE.
Many of us still consider artificial intelligence (AI) as science fiction. But artificial intelligence is already part of our daily life. When working with Netflix, machine learning algorithms regularly analyze your viewing habits, compare them with other readers, and offer you smart recommendations about what you want to see. When you’re on Amazon or another car-buying website, the algorithms analyze your browsing habits on the Internet to suggest products that might interest you.
In essence, AI is about automating the process of dealing with potential and existing customers in an apparently personal and careful manner. Every time the word “automation” appears, observers conclude that people will lose their job. According to a recent report by the World Economic Forum, machine learning and algorithms in the workplace could create 58 million new jobs by 2022. This is of great importance for small businesses because of their ability to automate intensive manual processes and to be as professional as their clients such as large companies, which AI can assimilate in competitive terms.
Next year, look for smaller partners who use artificial intelligence more and more to run ads on social networks, creating personalized emails at a time when they are more likely to open, improving the ranking of potential customers and simplifying processes Customer service. With the introduction of AI, small businesses could optimize their marketing efforts to attract customers that were previously inaccessible.
For small businesses, it is important to recognize that everyone is engaged in a connected world. Companies of all sizes are fighting for the hearts and minds of consumers and future workers on the same battlefield. By 2019, small businesses will be able to assert themselves better if they stay ahead of their employees and technological trends.
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