As we get closer to the end of the year, and approach a new decade, there is plenty on the horizon that small business owners should be looking out for. Adopting emerging trends is known to give companies competitive edge, so let’s take a look at the concepts and technologies that could help to take your business to the next level as we step into the Twenties.
1. Focus on environmental sustainability
When a business is blamed for damaging the environment, it can have a significantly negative effect on its reputation. Big brands like Coca Cola have recently faced such accusations, which demonstrates the importance for smaller businesses to think carefully about how they impact the environment, and how they can help to sustain it for future generations.
A business that can show it is taking steps to care for the environment is one that will be attractive both to clients and to employees. The likes of promoting recycling and providing facilities to do so; running a paperless office; installing energy saving solutions and providing amenities such as showers and lockers to make cycling to work easier will all go towards your sustainability programme, and there is so much more that can be done. If needs be, appoint a sustainability manager who will be dedicated to implementing and monitoring all the tactics. It is also a good idea to publish a policy on environmental sustainability so that clients can see how serious you are.
2. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things
Artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are having a hugely significant impact on technology. Thankfully, the technologies that use it are becoming more affordable, making them accessible to the small business.
AI has the ability to help a business to run more smoothly, with less effort. It can also be used to save businesses money. Chatbots for example are now widely used to deal quickly with basic enquiries. They have almost changed the face of customer service operations, providing an instant response to regular enquiries, or directing queries quickly to the right department.
Artificial intelligence is also changing the face of facilities and energy management. It is thanks to AI that the emergence of the smart building has excelled so quickly. Smart buildings are energy efficient workspaces that use the information gleaned from IoT connected devices around the building to control heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems in an automated fashion. IoT systems detect for example when a particular space is unoccupied, so that it does not require heat or light, or that there is sufficient daylight in a particular space for the lights to be switched off. Incredible savings are being made by businesses employing these technologies, which are becoming increasingly sophisticated year-on-year.
3. 5G connectivity
5G is already transforming internet connectivity. The enhanced speed and greater bandwidth is making mobile devices faster, more powerful and better connected. For businesses, this is all good news.
As we move into 2020, 5G coverage is set to grow enormously with businesses enjoying a substantial speed boost. Working on the go has been important for some time now, but imagine being able to download huge documents in seconds, or stream videos without even a sign of buffering. Work efficiency will excel considerably.
Happy New Year!
2020 is almost here, so why not start taking a look at the latest trends that could empower your business in the next decade? And whilst you are there, why not think about streamlining your bookkeeping too? Some help from our bookkeeping professionals could take a great deal of administrative burden off your shoulders, freeing up time to spend on exploring new technologies and driving your business forward.