5 Future Trends that Impact Businesses GrowthRamon Ray
New Year brings new hopes, new inspiration, and new goals. Despite slumped sales, stalled supply chains, and looming uncertainty last year, small business owners are positive about 2021.
According to Oracle NetSuite Brainyard’s 2021 Business Leader Survey, around 73% of respondents are positive about this year. Being a small business owner yourself, you must plan and implement the best business growth strategies to shine in the ongoing year.
Ramon Ray and Megan O’Brien co-hosted the Future of Business event, which is a part of NetSuite’s new event series – A New Age of Growth, helping entrepreneurs shed a light on the superpowers needed to accelerate growth.
The event roped in the following experts to discuss the findings of the Business Leader Survey and leading strategies to help you grow this year, including:
- Jason Balk, CFO Adtegrity
- Eileen Tobias, CFO Komodo Health
- Sue Vestri, CFO Greenphire Inc
- Megan O’Brien, business and finance editor NetSuite
The Future of Business: Gearing for Growth
Ramon and panelists discussed the following four key topics:
1) What is the Overall Outlook for 2021
Despite the many hurdles business owners faced due to the pandemic, most of them are thinking positively about 2021. NetSuite’s Business Leader Survey reports:
- 25% of respondents are ‘very positive’ about 2021
- 48% of those who surveyed are ‘positive’ about the ongoing year
- 21% of respondents have a neutral outlook about 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed business operations last year, so it is logical to conclude that business will only go up from here.
As Sue Vestri stated, “we’re off to a good start. We’re seeing our clients. We work in the clinical trials space, and we are seeing our industry [get] very busy.”
2) Top Priorities in Sales & Marketing
The pandemic has changed the rules of marketing. Now, there is an increased focus on digital sales and marketing activities. Eileen Tobias, CFO of Komodo Health explained that her company had a rapid shift to digital and virtual events, webinars, email marketing and embraced a shift to paid ads on LinkedIn during the last 12 months.
With businesses seeing some return to pre-covid levels, organizations are slowly adopting both digital and in-person activities to reach new and existing audiences. A hybrid model for sales and marketing activities, including in-person and digital strategies, is an intelligent way to spread the word in 2021.
3) Supply Chain Challenges
It goes without saying that the pandemic severely affected the supply chain, and some businesses are still facing the lasting effects of these challenges.
To grow this year, you have to address challenges around supply chain stability successfully and be prepared for future disruptions that are likely to occur. Megan O’Brien, business and finance editor at NetSuite, pointed out that there will be a big focus on diversification, resilience, and finding the right suppliers going into the rest of the year.
Here are some strategies to manage supply chain disruptions:
- Have a supply chain emergency plan
- Conduct supply chain vulnerability audit from time to time
- Identify backup suppliers across your supply chain
- Diversify supply base
- Implement risk evaluation tools
4) Reality of Looming Talent Shortage
The pandemic has changed the way employees work. During 2020, businesses voluntarily or mandatorily allowed their employees to work from home, and the remote working trend is here to stay. In fact, 67% of companies believe that remote working is going to be permanent or long-lasting.
However, even with this flexibility, it isn’t always easy to onboard new talent into this virtual environment. Finding the right people can be a challenge in 2021, which you have to overcome to grow this year. Jason Balk, CFO at Adtegrity noted how his company is embracing remote hiring, noting that “we’re out there trying to find people that fit our culture and can kind of step right in and take off. But in many cases, we’re having to train them as well. It’s been a challenge trying to get everybody on the same page.”
Small business owners showed incredible resilience last year. With the economy improving slowly, you will have ample opportunities to grow into this year. Addressing the above-mentioned challenges will help you prepare and identify new opportunities for growth.
For more business insights for growth, you can check out the full conversation on-demand here.
PS - Want more attention, and more impact, and more sales for your business? We created a complete Personal Branding Framework for business owners just like you... get it here.