The biggest challenges for businesses in 2020
As we head into a new decade, it’s apparent that the business landscape is changing rapidly. New challenges appear daily, and companies both large and small need to adapt in order to survive. Whether you are a start-up firm entering the field for the first time, or an established concern striving to stay ahead of the competition, these are a few of the challenges you’re likely to face over the coming year and beyond.
Meeting customer needs
Clients and customers are becoming more demanding all the time, as advances in technology mean higher expectations in terms of service and satisfaction. Whatever the nature of your business, you’re going to have to learn to respond faster to inquiries and to address concerns immediately and effectively. This applies to everything from getting orders out and delivered promptly, to answering emails and online messages within minutes, if not seconds.
In some cases, a fast response could be needed to turn a lead into a sale. In other cases, it’s a question of building strong relationships and improving your company’s reputation. A customer or client that is kept waiting will soon go elsewhere, and as faster response become the norm, no company can afford to lag behind.
Mastering social media
On a similar note, any business that doesn’t have an active social media presence in 2020 is in serious danger of being overlooked and ignored. Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is the equivalent of free advertising, but that’s not all. It’s a way to build a community around your brand and establish strong, one-to-one relationships with your clients. It’s also a place to respond quickly to problems and where you can be seen to be taking a pro-active response to customer satisfaction. Finally, there’s nothing like genuine positive feedback on your business to attract interest and inspire trust.
West Virginia has extremely strict data breach laws, including industry-specific laws on the protection of personal data relating to health, insurance and education. It is the responsibility of your company to make sure that you are 100% compliant, and large fines can be levied if repeated data breaches are discovered. The real damage, however, will be to your company’s reputation. Making sure that you’re protecting the sensitive data in your possession is going to be a core function for every business in the coming months and years.
Managing strategic growth
As well as ensuring regulatory compliance, businesses in 2020 will need to learn how to make best use of the data they’re harvesting to grow their company. Loyalty programs, targeted marketing, supply chain management and other disciplines are essential parts of making sure your business thrives. With so much riding on these processes, it makes sense to outsource to experts like Wolverine Solutions Group who can help businesses to attract more clients and make the best use of their resources.
Stepping up your cybersecurity
Cyber attacks on companies big and small have continued to increase over the last decade and, unfortunately, there are no signs of them slowing down. They are also becoming ever-more sophisticated, which means it’s vital that your defenses are kept up-to-date. Antivirus and anti-malware software, data encryption and a robust firewall are essential, and passwords should also be changed regularly.
Innovation is the lifeblood of any business, and in 2020 this will be coming thick and fast. Any company that doesn’t want to be left behind will have to move with the times, staying on top of new ideas in everything from marketing and IT to flexible or remote working. Customers and clients also respond well to innovation, so long as fresh approaches actually deliver the positive benefits they promise. Moving too fast can lead to a firm tripping over its own bootlaces – but staying the same just isn’t an option when the competition is cutting costs and providing a better service by changing its methods.
Prioritizing training and education
Innovation and new technology requires new skills, and these need to be taught. In 2020, it’s going to become more necessary than ever for employees to regularly upgrade their skills in order to keep on doing their jobs. It’s in the interests of the company to provide this training, even if it means going to an outside provider. The alternative – of firing existing staff and bringing in a whole new team – will be more expensive, time-consuming and, above all, unfair. Periodically retraining staff so they can keep up with the latest developments in their job will encourage loyalty and better productivity.
Many of the changes on the horizon may not directly affect your business in 2020, but they certainly will in five to ten years’ time. It’s best to start preparing now so that you’re not caught out when the future arrives unexpectedly. 2020 will certainly provide its own share of curveballs and surprises. Stay on the ball and be ready to meet each new challenge as it appears.