2020 has brought us a vast amount of change in all aspects of our lives. Many businesses have had to adjust their working practices to ensure they survived throughout the pandemic. So in 2021, there are clear business trends and changes.

The top 10 biggest business trends for 2021

Looking at local. The pandemic caused a high disruption in supply chains internationally so businesses looked at trading more locally. There has been an increase in manufacturing more locally and also supporting independent businesses.

Having a purpose at work. There has been a large rise especially with the younger generation seeing the importance of a good work/life balance. Businesses should adapt and create workplaces where employees are heard and considered as individuals.

Being sustainable. We have seen the environmental factors various industries have caused. The difficulties we are facing from environmental factors are not to be ignored. Businesses need to recognise that they need to change the way they operate and how that impacts the environment. Sustainability is such an important factor to take into account when rethinking your business model and work ethos.

Social media within business. Social media is a large aspect of the digital age, and most businesses have adapted to having social media accounts to help boost customer engagement. Being more authentic with your social media presence is a trend many businesses will see in 2021, as well as interacting with influencers that relate to your business sector.

Home working. One of the biggest trends we’ve seen since the pandemic begun is office workers having to implement remote working. This has encouraged businesses to rethink their strategy and model. Is remote working is the way forward? Some are considering mixing up working in the office and remote work, others plan to go back to the office completely. I think there needs to be consideration of balancing work and personal life, allowing more flexibility for employees. Mental health support should be implemented into workplaces to help employees who are struggling and need access to specific services.

Data usage. Businesses are increasing their digital marketing strategies and the digital world is thriving more than ever. Also businesses accessing data to help improve customer experience has grown. There are now better ways to access data through various cloud-based software. It’s also very important to make sure data is secure and protected.

Improving the business model. Ever since some sectors had to close due to the pandemic, businesses have been trying to find ways to alter their operations. Businesses that reacted quicker to the change were able to get back on their feet a lot quicker than others who are still trying to work it out. There are of course outside circumstances especially with the pandemic having to close specific sectors. Some businesses would have found it a lot more difficult to bounce back than others. However, improving your business model to help adapt to the changes 2020 brought is a good start.

Automation. Some businesses will see where they can start to add more automation where people may not be needed. This is more prevalent in the manufacturing industry. But we are now seeing a trend of robotic technology being used in industries such as medicine and education.

Adjustments to capital finance. There has been a big financial challenge for businesses who wanted to raise capital or individuals who were in the process of starting a new business. The trend in 2021 will be businesses looking at gaining access to capital more easily than how capital was obtained pre-pandemic.

Virtual content. In the retail sector, there has been an increase in companies looking at new ways for customers to virtually see the products they are intending to buy. Look at clothing retailers for example. They have implemented virtual interfaces to help customers try the clothes through a virtual avatar before purchasing. Virtual interfacing will become a large part of many business sectors, especially with customer service based businesses.

McKinsey & Company described 2021 as “the year of transition”. The transition will affect all businesses across the globe. It’s important to think about reshaping your business model for 2021. Create a roadmap where your business can grow from strength to strength as we hopefully start to enter post-pandemic soon.

If you need any extra support around adapting your company to this year’s business trends and changes, please get in touch.