Every business operates with one common goal: success. To achieve this success, a strategic focus is required, and plans must be built from reliable, accurate information. For this reason, monitoring both national and international trends is crucial.

Why? To move your business in the right direction.

We’ve collated the eight key business success trends for 2018, and here they are:

  1. Digital Transformation

The Information Age reports that; “When the history of digital transformation is written, 2017 is likely to go down as a landmark year where innovation was rife.” This momentum will only continue to build, as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, data intelligence and digital technologies continue to shape the speed and operations of the modern business.

 

 

  1. Focus on Social

Consumers are increasingly using social media as a tool to empower themselves, highlight injustices and bring “bad-brands” to light. A Euromonitor report found that consumers may, in the past “have felt powerless to stand up to brands on their own, social media has given them collective clout.” Communities are embracing constant, and live interactions.  Businesses must be ready to communicate effectively on these platforms.

  1. The Rise of Self-auditing

Can you remember the goals you set in 2017? Do you have a record of what was achieved? The key to success is action, and the key to action is a plan. Don’t pay lip-service to goals and ambitions – it’s far more rewarding to achieve them. Develop a list of goals, keep track of them and conduct regular introspection to make real, beneficial changes.

  1. Data for Good

To succeed in an ever-more competitive environment, businesses must focus on using the plethora of data available to benefit customers. From marketing to communications, operations, customer experience and human resources – every aspect of the business must be managed in such a way that the business becomes a “smart data consumer”.

  1. The Charged Future

An Ericsson report confirms that 2018 will be the year when “your devices will know you”. With automation, AI and mobile solutions growing faster than ever before, business considerations must be made to stay ahead of the pack. One of these considerations is mobile power. “A connected world will require mobile power. Keeping the power flowing will be as critical as maintaining connectivity; if either goes down, instant disruption will ensue.”

  1. Data Lakes Perform or Die

Data lakes were designed to create one repository where businesses can store their data. One point of access, no silos, tons of data. It seemed like a good idea at the time… And it still is – if the data can be analysed, understood and acted on. In 2018, data management will go much further than effective storage – it will be about effective understanding.

  1. Wellness Workplaces 

Burnt out employees are no good. Sitting at a standard desk for nine hours a day simply isn’t the norm anymore. Shrewd businesses are swapping long hours for goal-orientated approaches. A large focus in 2018 will be making the working environment more comfortable, dynamic and conducive to peace and productivity. Staff wellness is becoming a hot-topic – and this goes further than medical aid evaluations.

  1. Flexible Lifestyles for Adaptive Entrepreneurs

CareerTrend reports that, in the 1950s, small businesses were abundant, “including mom and pop stores such as newsstands, candy stores, shoe repair shops, drug stores and food markets. People shopped locally back then, and the small stores thrived.” Today, nearly 50 percent of respondents to a Euromonitor survey aspire to being self-employed (and that’s across all generations). This trend must play a role in the development of solutions, as consumers gravitate towards the lifestyle of their choosing, facilitated by the Internet.

Trend analysis helps managers to understand how their businesses have performed, predict where current business operations and practices will take them, and adjust strategies in line with changes in the industry, the country and the world. Use these trends to create a reliable plan of action; then implement, review and adapt.

 

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