The 2020s are shaping up to be an interesting time for business owners. A lot of the trends are rooted in how things have changed, with new ways of doing businesses and roles. The global pandemic has made a significant impact on the way different countries and regions operate. These trends will make sure you stay afloat as a business owner through 2021.
The top 12 business trends for 2021 not only set out how businesses need to navigate through these global changes, but also show the importance of looking at what’s going on around you before taking any major decisions or investments into your company’s future.
The Top 12 Business Trends
- Price Tag: Pricing In The Era Of Price Gouging And The Global Pandemic Price-gouging is a common term used in the United States that refers to an increase in consumer price above the standard market rates, in response to a supply or demand surplus or drought. It can also be used to refer to a supply shortage in a market, which results in the same result as the former. When this happens, the price of a product or service often rises.
- World’s No. 1 Global Pandemic – Global Pandemic 2020 Projections. A global pandemic impacts social and economic systems around the world, making them weaker and exposing them to greater risk. While no single global pandemic has been as widespread as the current one, a new pandemic is inevitable, according to Ray A. Walser in his book “Pandemics”, 2005
- Rethink Business Models And Product Development to be “Open Source”. The best example of this is the open-source software model, which has been helping computer manufacturers save money and improve products since the late 1990s. In fact, Google’s Android operating system is based on Linux, a free and open operating system that was based loosely on the GNU Project and was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. The open-source movement can be applied to all types of businesses and even the services that a business provides. For example, a business might keep its financial practices or legal negotiations open for everyone to read or a product developer might let open-source programmers have access to the source code for a product being developed.
- DIY – Do It Yourself – Entrepreneurship. The best example of the do-it-yourself (DIY) entrepreneurial movement is Apple, which was started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 as a manufacturer of personal computers. Jobs and Wozniak built their first prototype in Jobs’s parents’ garage, and were able to quit their day jobs at Atari after three months. In the early 1980s, Apple started moving from computers to consumer electronics with the introduction of mice, keyboards, music players, laptops and even a modem with a software as a service (SaaS) model for iPhone as an example. However, by the late 1990s there were two main trends at work with Apple: smartphones (which became the iPod) and mobile computing (which became popular with the iPad).
- Ideas-Based vs. Material-Based Economy. For the past 200 years, the United States and Europe were part of a physical economy. A farmer would grow crops, an artist would produce paintings and a cobbler would make shoes. In the early 21st century, the global economy is becoming increasingly ideas-based. The two most prominent examples of this are Apple and Amazon (AMZN). Apple is primarily an ideas-based company that uses technology to transform mobile phones into music players and mobile phones into tablet computers. Amazon is an ecommerce giant that sells everything from books to diapers online – with no brick-and-mortar stores to take up real estate.
- Human Capital and Currency: Employee Benefits and Paid Time Off. The best example of this trend was the debate over paid time off (PTO) in the United States in the early 21st century. In 1999, California was the first state to pass a law requiring companies to offer vacation time to their employees. The law wasn’t put into action until 2012, when President Barack Obama signed a bill that mandated employers with more than 100 full-time workers provide five paid days of holiday each year. The law went into effect in 2015, when it was the state of California’s turn to set its PTO policy.
- Connected Cities. The best example of this is Google Fiber, which promises bandwidth speeds 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. As a result, Google Fiber will flatten the internet service providers (ISPs) and cable TV companies that currently provide broadband services in cities throughout the United States. Google Fiber has been slow to get its network up and running due to many challenges, including distance from customers’ houses and cost of rolling out fiber. However, it is still an example of how the internet is changing the way we live and work for the better.
- Globalization, Population Growth And Exploding Suburbs. Globalization refers to how companies and governments are connected and connected together by international trade, global business and foreign affairs. Politics and economics affect one another directly or indirectly, like the U.S.-China Trade War in 2018, Population growth refers to how populations throughout the world are growing at a rate that was unseen at any point in human history; while suburban living is common throughout developed economies in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia. In the case of the Detroit metropolitan area, for example, a 2010 U.S. Census population estimate found that 85 percent of people living in suburbs were white, 12 percent were black and more than 1 million people lived in poverty – the highest of any nation on Earth outside South Africa.
- Selling Land and “Virtual Real Estate”. The best example of this is the real estate industry, which is continually changing due to developments like the introduction of digital cameras (which started in 2005) and digital photo editing software (which was introduced in 1998) that allow pictures to be shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This has led to an increase in online real estate agents who sell various types of real estate, including homes, vacation homes, commercial real estate and even properties located on islands or water.
- Social Media And Online Journalism. The best example of this is The Huffington Post (which was launched in 2005 by then-owner AOL), which offers a platform for anyone to share their opinions without being monitored or edited by a third party. This includes social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. These are all examples of how social media has changed the way news is consumed by the masses.
- Social Networks Like Facebook, YouTube And Instagram. The best example of this is Facebook’s use of fake news that manipulated the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The platform allowed fake news websites to publish false content on their platform with no repercussions for doing so – thus helping to put Donald Trump in the White House.
- Smartphones And Smart Home Tech. The best example of this was the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, which allowed users to use a mobile phone-based version of a computer while paying for it monthly. This was followed by smart home technology, including devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home that allow users to control their homes from a central location.