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6 trends for SMEs in 2020

There is no doubt that 2020 will go down in history as one of the most trying years of our time. Coming out of lockdown the world will be a very different place.

However, despite the economic impact of Coronavirus, those businesses that are able to adapt, and are astute enough to see where the opportunities lie, can – and will – benefit from the new landscape. With this in mind, trends for 2020 are now a mix of what was being predicted, and what has now come to the fore. Here are our 6 picks for where you should be keeping an eye, and if possible, making in-roads towards…

Health and wellbeing will become business priorities

This one shouldn’t come as any surprise. This topic has been front and centre for a while, but clearly COVID-19 means continued anxiety, not just around physical health, but also job security. So the ‘new normal’ looks to be one of increased concerns over employee peace of mind and mental wellbeing. An added challenge will be managing wellbeing in a remote workforce, because remote working is an art and most people need to be coached on how to get it right – trust us, we know.

The Rise of the Remote Worker

And on that note, COVID-19 has unexpectedly caused a massive surge in remote working. Businesses that probably would have taken years to get there have gone fully remote in a matter of days. Social-isolation will be with us for a long time, and remote working is likely to be an integral part of the fabric of the ‘new normal’. This will mean the appearance of new technology, new challenges and, perhaps more intriguingly, new ways of working – so make sure you’re ahead of the curve (and we can help with that).

Generation Z will shape company culture

Socially conscious brands? Learning opportunities over salary packages? This is what your new workforce wants. Gen Z – the generation born between 1995 and 2012 – now outnumber Millennials. They also champion fostering diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect as an obligatory part of any working culture. Neglect their preferences at your commercial peril.

Mobile Marketing will be more creative

It’s been a trend on and off over the last decade, but mobile marketing is still on the rise, with over 3.8 billion worldwide smartphone users as you read this. But this year it will focus on creativity: businesses (and users) are, more than ever, finding new and creative ways to use mobile technology. Geo-targeting customers who are near your location has seen rising popularity, and it’s all about keeping your customers engaged and interested, e.g. through SMS/chat or push notifications through your app.

5G will begin to change the game

OK, we bet some of you are saying: “Isn’t 5G just faster 4G?”. Well, it is, but it’s much more. It’s a whole new era. Think better video conferencing, better training and development opportunities, better remote working – and experts believe 5G will act as the catalyst for technology like AI, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Wearable Tech to move from ‘innovation’ to mainstream. SMEs will need to be prepared for a new way of working with suppliers and customers who on-board early.

Increased democratisation of AI

A recent global survey demonstrated that only 33 percent of consumers think they use AI, while 77 percent actually use AI-enabled technology or services. AI is everywhere (“OK, Google!”), and combined with its best buddy, Big Data, it’s rapidly changing the way companies operate. From automated email marketing to chatbots, easy to access, cost-effective AI solutions have the benefit of providing insights which can help evolve your business processes and produce better ROI. Those businesses that can capitalise on it will be ahead of the curve.

2020 is the year everything changed – and things are still moving fast. If you want to keep ahead of the game, and make sure your business is scaleable, why not consider hiring your very own virtual assistant? We’ve built a business around the most talented VAs we know, and we’d love to talk to you about how we can help – contact us now.

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