As the calendar rolls over into another new year, business owners, professionals and experts are looking forward to what to expect in 2016.
Every new year offers new opportunities and obstacles. From new laws and regulations to unseen trends and technological advancements, getting the jump on the competition often depends on business owners understanding what to expect in the coming 12 months before the light-covered globe drops at midnight in New York’s Times Square.
To give your business a helping hand, here are seven business trends and predictions that you can expect to see in 2016.
Election Year Politics Will Affect the Overall Business Climate
Presidential politics will continue to heat up as both Democrats and Republicans in 2016 nominate candidates who are not incumbents for the first time in eight years. The issues presidential candidates focus on during their campaigns can have a positive effect on public mood and even consumer preferences.
Election years tend to be good for business because the people running for president usually tell the American people what they want to hear: That the nation will become safer and the economy will get stronger if they give them their votes. This usually has a positive effect on consumer confidence, causing people to be looser with their pocketbooks.
But this newfound economic confidence is fragile and can easily be broken by world events, such as more incidences of terrorism like the downing of the Russian commercial jetliner in Turkey and the recent deadly attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California.
On-Demand Delivery and Push-Button Ordering
The innovation in today’s business isn’t as focused on technology. Today’s consumers also want it to be easier and faster to get the products they want through their smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. That means businesses will need to focus their energies on providing better online ordering platforms and faster, more efficient delivery.
Innovative companies like Amazon are setting the tone by exploring new ways to get products to consumers faster. Forward thinking companies today are experimenting with such things as same-day delivery, robotic drones that deliver packages by air, and even three-dimensional printers that can actually build certain types of products in customer’s homes through digital downloads.
The Uber-ization of Global Business
Uber is the passenger transport company that is going to change everything in business. It took an established, successful industry – namely taxi cabs – and turned the idea on its head essentially overnight.
Ordinary car owners can make significant money simply by offering ride-sharing services via a sophisticated network built on smartphones and other mobile devices.
Today, the owners of taxi cab companies are complaining that Uber is essentially putting them out of business. And they’re right. But nobody is listening because Uber and companies like it have found a new, innovative, and better way to meet provide consumers with a solution that is faster, cheaper and more efficient than what they had before.
The lodging industry currently is undergoing a similar transformation, as homeowners and apartment renters discover that they can make extra money by renting out spare rooms and couches. Expect other industries to follow suit in 2016.
Job-Sharing, Contractors and Remote Workers
More companies are discovering that they can get significant savings by outsourcing a lot of the work their current workforce does to home-based freelancers. That means businesses don’t need to maintain as much costly office space, don’t need as much infrastructure, and don’t have to pay for as many worker benefits.
The Aging Business Owner
A bigger share of the Baby Boomers who own businesses are reaching retirement age. That means there will be more established privately-owned business available for sale, which could mean great opportunities for young entrepreneurs looking for established turn-key businesses to own and run.
More Transparency for Businesses Large and Small
Given how connected everybody is with social media and other digital platforms, even the smallest misstep or customer service blunder can instantly go viral. So businesses need to be more careful about how they deal with every customer and every transaction.
Every digital device today has an HD video camera and a microphone. Consider the embarrassment a mid-level Taco Bell executive recently caused the company when he drunkenly attacked an Uber driver and the event was captured on video and distributed worldwide in a matter of hours. An employee doing something stupid or saying something they shouldn’t can mean big headaches for even the largest corporations.
Higher Overall Wages
Both individual states and the federal government are under pressure to pass legislation to raise the minimum wage. Even individual cities are getting into the act, with places like New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. , and Los Angeles voting to raise the local minimum wage to $15/hour.
If other cities and states follow suit, it could mean higher labor costs for business, higher prices for consumers, and a bigger risk of higher inflation.
Author Bio – This guest article is written by Nick Hardy in support of Servcorp, world’s leading provider of serviced and virtual offices. If you’re on the lookout for fully furnished and equipped office suites, do check out Servcorp offices at Centralworld.