The Big Trends Small Businesses Should Know About In 2024

Small businesses have their work cut out for them in 2024.

Clear trends are emerging in the space and entrepreneurs are in for what promises to be an exciting year of innovation, adaptation, and growth.

The landscape in 2024 is brimming with possibilities, and entrepreneurs who understand the trends are poised to win the challenges that lie ahead.

Here are the developments you need to watch for in the next 12 months.

 #1 AI Will Come Of Age

The past year has been white-hot with AI deployments. Tech companies, old and new, have been releasing their own AI products.

Businesses and professionals have been eating up anything “AI” they can get their hands on, and as a result, have skyrocketed their productivity and profit.

This trend will continue in 2024. A lot of AI projects in the pipeline will see the light of day this year.

If you’re not using AI, in any form, for your business, then you’re leaving some profit on the table.

AI runs the gamut from production to marketing and will impact all corners of business. And not engaging even in just one means you’re being left behind.

The technology has democratized the game and small business owners must see themselves briskly adapting to the novel tools that will come out this year.

There will be a lot of game-changers. Who knows, your industry might just be disrupted this year. The whole landscape might look very different come December.

#2 Competition Will Increase

As mentioned, AI (and other technologies) have democratized the process of starting a business. What used to be capital and labour-intensive has become as easy as 1-2-3.

This means that whatever business you’re in—retail, food, real estate, services—you will see more competition coming out of left field.

There will be more players in your industry, as the past protections and barriers to entry come down with the advent of new technologies.

Not only that, competition will be more intense in 2024. You’re not the only business getting a boost in the arm. All the other players are deploying AI for their ends—whether it’s for marketing their products or creating loads more content.

Think of AI as steroids for business. It makes your business stronger, but hey, everybody else is using it. So the level of competition, as a whole, has significantly elevated. (And those that don’t get behind AI will be left behind.)

#3 Customer Expectations Will Soar

Much as it has in recent years, it will be a consumer market. Because there are more players in the space, customers and clients have plenty of suppliers and businesses to choose from. They have their pick of brands they could do business with.

Because of that, customer expectations will be higher. This means people will expect faster transactions, lower prices, higher quality, and a better customer experience. Customer loyalty will be very hard to secure as today’s consumers feel perfectly fine switching allegiances from your business to the competition.

Customer expectations have been skyrocketing in the past years. There are no signs that this is slowing down. (The only time people lowered their expectations was during the pandemic—which won’t be happening any time soon, I hope.)

This means, that as a small business, you have to elevate your game in 2024. If you think you’ve done great last year, look at your operation and see the areas where you can still eke out improvements. Where can you streamline things? Where can you increase the quality of your product or service?

More importantly, how can you make your business unique from everybody else in the field? What innovations and changes can you make so that you make the competition irrelevant because you’re a class of your own?

#4 Mental Health Is King

2024’s labour force will be most intent on mental health and work-life balance.

These might be wrapped up in words like flexi time, hybrid work, 4-day work week—but it will ultimately be about these two.

So don’t just look after your clients, look after your employees as well. The labour landscape is very fluid and employees of late have displayed a strong penchant for hopping from one place of work to another. (The younger your employees are, the harder they are to be persuaded to stay.)

As a small business owner, if you want your best workers to stay loyal to you, you have to accommodate their wishes and make allowances for how working for you fits into their idea of a better life.

Laws will be passed to protect and support “mental health” and “work-life balance.” (These may come in guises of higher compensation, wellness initiatives, better work conditions etc.)

You won’t have any problems complying with them when you know that, in the long run, when your employees win, your small business wins.

#5 Remote Work Will March On

Finally, 2024 will see the continued rise of remote work—of digital nomads living off their laptops, working wherever and whenever they please.

The traditional narrative is that remote work made sense during the pandemic, allowing continued services to be provided through virtual collaboration. But now that we’re looking at COVID through the rearview mirror, it makes more sense to return to the office.

Remote work, studies have shown, is bad for productivity and creativity. So many organizations and business leaders like Elon Musk have called for a return to the office.

But new research looked deeper into the data and noticed startling figures.  Around 2010, the gap between the productivity of face-to-face and virtual teams started shrinking. Yes, office collaboration was a clear winner in the early days of remote work (1980s). But when project management tools like Trello, Slack, and Zoom came to the scene (around 2010), they revolutionized virtual teams and skyrocketed productivity—so much so that by 2015, the difference dropped from 5% to 0%.

In short, technological leaps led to closer and more effective virtual collaboration. This can only bode well in the age of AI where more tech can give teams a new boost.

The latest numbers have seen remote work overtaking face-to-face collaboration in a significant turnaround. With newer tools at their beck and call, workers have become even more productive and creative.

Remote work will not only resolutely march forward, but heaps of new technology and infrastructure are waiting in the wings to make it even more worthwhile.

2024 is an exciting year for small business owners, bringing both new tools and challenges. They will see more competition and higher expectations from customers. They will also witness game-changing technology that can potentially redraw entire industries.

To be successful, business owners need a mindset willing and able to ride these changes and rise to the challenges ahead.

Kinetic Innovative Staffing is your partner in 2024. We help small businesses hire seasoned Filipino remote professionals for a wide range of positions and roles.

With over 4 million professionals in our roster, we can help small businesses hire virtual assistants, graphic designers, writers, marketing staff—even lawyers, accountants and architects.

By working with remote workers, small businesses can save as much as 70% on labour fees. As such, they are that much more competitive in their space.

If this sounds like a good deal and you’d like to explore hiring remote workers for your business, do not hesitate to contact us and we’ll provide you with all the help that you need.

Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.

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