As businesses struggle to cope with an ever changing world it can be hard to predict what the future holds. In any three month period there are normally dozens of political, economic, social and technological changes which can affect the way we do business.
In March this year Yahoo produced an interesting article (full article click here) where leading journalists from The Telegraph and social media experts were asked to predict where SMEs would be in the next ten years. An almost impossible task you may think but the results were fascinating. Before they started to think ahead they took the time to look back over the last ten years and realised that SME’s in the UK had dealt with some unprecedented challenges including: Eurozone crisis, birth and explosion of Social Media, growth of online shopping, change of government and VAT rates, collapse of the high street banking industry, natural disasters affecting trade and the optimism of London 2012 Olympics.
In the next ten years businesses will certainly face similar challenges and as legislation increases regarding data protection, online shopping continues to grow and managing personal debt becomes an essential problem to tackle it’s bound to affect trade. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the growth of interactive media solutions in the home, touch screen technology and digital devices evolving at home and in the palm of your hand will increase pressure on businesses to perform.
The evolution of Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging has made consumers more demanding and impatient than ever before. Businesses must monitor these new channels of communication carefully and decide on their approach to ensure they can preserve their reputations, deliver excellent customer service and offer choice and depth of products to satisfy consumer demand. As the world becomes more advanced the ability to source products globally will increase, this in turn will put pressure on UK businesses to ensure they can keep up on a worldwide stage.
So what can we conclude from these predictions? It seems clear that the business that manage to survive turmoil have several qualities in common; excellent fiscal management, ability to embrace new technology, wisdom to only adopt change when there’s a clear financial or strategic advantage to their business, insight to predict future trends and adapt their business to ensure they survive.