The past few years have seen a lot of changes happen in the business world. Digitization, changes to the modern office, and new management styles have all played a part in complicating business management and making it highly specialized. As a result, certain trends have emerged that are changing the way businesses have always been managed. We will be looking at these industry trends below.
As the relevant technology has matured, businesses have been given more tools that enable their employees to work remotely. These tools are enabling work to be done on a digital cloud, making it accessible to remote employees no matter where they are in the world.
Managing remote employees is much harder than managing in-office employees, which has led to the growth of new business and employee management practices. These include monitoring tools, online meetings, and requests for more accountability – and ways to encourage this accountability – among all remote employees.
Emerging Markets are Growing Too
As businesses have had to expand globally; they have been forced to compete with businesses that thrive in emerging markets. The one thing these global businesses are starting to realize is that emerging markets are becoming stronger, making it harder for foreign businesses to get a foothold.
Several factors are causing this stabilization in emerging markets, including labor markets that are becoming mature, better fiscal management, and measures by governments to foster the growth of local companies to reduce the chances of their collapse.
Even in emerging markets where there is a huge potential for foreign businesses, business owners have to think about language barriers, financial upsides, and downsides, cultural cohesion, and corruption, all of which require individual strategies to maneuver.
Earlier, getting your business operations to emerging markets meant you would be required to have a full-blown physical presence. Not anymore. With the rise of digital and its associated technologies, you can be headquartered and have your factory at one location and your markets and target audiences all over the world. For example, as a business, if you need a digital marketing agency, you do not have to ensure that they are in the same city or country. You can simply go after the best there is, as most, if not all the work can be done digitally. From design and development to SEO and social media marketing.
Digitization of Business Education
The business world is changing so fast that it is getting increasingly harder to keep up with all the changes. These changes are mainly due to the increasing adoption of technology in the business world. To give business owners, managers, and leaders the chance to catch and keep up, universities such as Suffolk are offering their MBA programs in an online format.
These online programs allow business leaders to learn about and keep up with the changes happening in the new digital business world, earn a Masters Degree in Business and keep working, all at the same time. The MBA program from Suffolk University, specifically, seeks to equip those taking the program with the skills they need to thrive in this new business world and environment. Click here to find out more about the different concentrations available.
Consumers are More Informed
Consumers are much more informed than they previously used to be. The number of people who own a smartphone, and therefore have constant and instantaneous access to information, is increasing. Because of this, business managers must understand that consumers always have information about how their businesses are run as well as detailed information on their products, their prices, and their quality.
Because of this, the management of relationships between a business and its customers must be handled very carefully. Businesses are being forced to maintain an online presence which helps them retain a positive brand image among their customers. Consumers are also able to share information with other consumers via social media. This puts further pressure on businesses to tweak their management strategies to prepare for the possibility of negative information spreading about them online.
Personalizing customer experiences is becoming crucial for businesses that want to retain their customers. According to one study, 80% of those surveyed said that they would do business with businesses that offered personalized customer experiences. Companies all over the world have been keeping an eye on this trend with some of them putting measures in place to offer these experiences.
Alternative Lending Sources
In the past, businesses had to rely on traditional lenders if they needed an infusion of cash. Non-banking lending options have emerged and have kept growing over the past few years. This has been caused by several factors that have contributed to their wider adoption.
One of these factors is the wide variety of options available to businesses. These include options such as cash advances, equipment loans, factoring, and more. In addition, these alternative lending partners help businesses secure funding much faster than was possible previously.
Additionally, small business owners with bad credit can now find the funding they need from these alternative lenders. Banks and other lenders have been wary of lending to people with bad credit since the 2008 recession and this has led to the emergence of these bad credit lenders.
Lastly, banks have a very high rejection rate, up to 80%, compared to alternative lenders. This means businesses are leaning towards asking for funding from these lenders because they know the chances of securing the funding they need is higher with these lenders.
New Marketing Strategies
Marketing has always been hailed as critical for all types of businesses. In this new digital world, new types of marketing are emerging, namely influencer and social media marketing. Both of these are intricately linked but we have to mention that influencer marketing was happening long before the advent of social media. Social media just fueled it further.
Influencer marketing is also linked to celebrity endorsements with one key difference. Most influencers are specialists in their niche with a lot of authority on the products they promote while many celebrities usually are not. Influencers use their knowledge of a niche to promote products while celebrities attach their fame and status to the product.
Both of these types of marketing are making waves with more companies looking to employ them. Social media marketing takes these two strategies and takes them even further. Now influencers and celebrities can use their reach on social media to promote products instead of using other media that might not have as wide of a reach.
Availability and Use of Big Data
Businesses are increasingly using big data in many different ways. One of these ways is understanding customers. Businesses that do not understand their customers are unlikely to stay afloat in a business environment that is becoming increasingly competitive. Businesses have a lot of different ways of collecting vast amounts of data that they can connect to specific customers to form buyer personas. These personas are then used to personalize products, services, and pricing for these different types of customers.
Businesses are also using data to find inefficiencies in their marketing strategies. By having set goals and expectations, companies can compare those to actual outcomes to see where they are falling short. They can then use this information to get rid of the inefficiencies that are making it harder for them to reach their goals.
Increased Use of Mobile Devices
Everywhere you look, you are likely to see someone using a mobile phone. The phones we use are changing the way businesses approach and sell to their customers. For example, businesses that have websites are being asked to ensure their websites remain accessible to mobile users. This is because the number of mobile website visitors surpassed that of desktop visitors a few years ago. Because of this expectation, customers will leave a website if it is not accessible or usable on their mobile devices.
Because of how connected people are to their mobile devices, businesses are also incentivized to produce mobile apps to capture the attention of mobile users. Business apps that are always accessible in two taps or less, and that send notifications to users, are becoming increasingly common. These apps give businesses constant access to their customers and vice versa.
The Power of Millennials
Millennials are just starting to take on more responsibilities in businesses. There is a difference in the way millennials think and the way older generations do. Millennials are better suited to cater to the needs of fellow millennials but there is a problem; there are not enough millennials in leadership positions. Because of this, businesses are starting to be seen as misunderstanding millennials if they use older employees to craft sales and campaigns aimed at millennials.
Millennials have also lived a digital life, are a very diverse group, and are a lot more adaptable and collaborative than previous generations. Millennials also embrace different classes and communities better than those who came before them. All these things put together point to the fact that millennials have unique needs that need to be navigated carefully.
Next, businesses have to start thinking about the spending power of millennials. Millennials are thought to have a spending power of over $1.4 trillion and businesses that do not tailor their products and services to them will lose out a lot.
The green movement is accelerating and businesses that do not stay green will not reap the rewards of doing so. People are much more likely to do business with you if they do not think you are harming the earth. Consumers react to every aspect of your business including your manufacturing processes, the materials you use, and how you transport your goods to the market. Businesses that do all three in an eco-friendly manner stand to reap massive rewards.
The business world is changing. Because of these changes, certain trends are emerging that businesses must keep an eye on. Failure to do so will see these businesses left behind by those who do.
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