How much time do you spend on planning for the future of your business? One survey suggested that business owners typically spend less than one-third of their time on planning, with the remaining two-thirds on day-to-day operations. And that was pre-COVID. I would argue that in our current situation, small business owners should be focusing a more significant portion of their time looking ahead and trying to plan for a successful future for their business.
Last week, I read through an interesting article from McKinsey on the top trends they predicted will define 2021 and beyond. They listed 8 trends in January 2021 and re-visited them in July. I found this to be a thought provoking article, so in this brief blog post, let’s look at the top trends and consider how they could create opportunities for our small businesses.
Top Trends for Your Business Future
My brief summary of their eight trends is as follows:
- consumer brand loyalty is down,
- business travel is down and will stay down,
- creation of new businesses is way up, but existing big businesses are only getting bigger and stronger (and also likely to cut more jobs),
- digitization and e-commerce are way up,
- supply chains need to be refocused on agility rather than efficiency,
- hybrid work is here to stay – for those who can work from home (which may create even larger gaps between higher income and lower income jobs), and
- biopharma shows great potential (as in COVID vaccinations and more).
And the #1 scary quote from the article: “Only 11 percent of respondents believed that their current business models would be economically viable through 2023.”
Top Questions to Consider
So here are my questions for you today:
- Which of the eight trends do you think impacts your business the most?
- Where do you see threats to the future of your business?
- Where do you see opportunity?
- What can you do about it today?
- What can you do about it this year?
Take some time to think this through. So many of us get caught up in the day to day, we don’t reflect on the future as much as we should. So right now, I suggest you find an hour in your schedule in the next week, block it off now in your calendar, and then re-visit this blog post and the eight trends to work on answering these questions.
Even better than spending time on your own, I suggest you find a community of like-minded business owners who commit to discussions like this on an ongoing basis. That can force you to commit the time for planning and reflection, and also help you gain a different perspective that comes from hearing from others outside of your own business or industry.
I am accepting a limited number of small business owners into my Small Together community right now, free of charge! Once I hit my limit, access to the community and its courses, workshops, facilitated discussions and other benefits will be only available through a paid subscription.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact me now for a private invitation.