Thanks to the digital revolution, environmental regulation and a new generation of young people entering the workforce, the business landscape is changing fast.
In South Africa, the USA, Mexico, Canada, Italy and Egypt everyone is feeling the impact of new demands on the way business is being done. Demands made by both employees and customers. To help you stay ahead of the curve, here are the top 3 business trends we believe will shape South Africa over the next 2 years.
Remember when having a job meant working at your own office from 8am to 5pm? For a growing number of businesses, those rules don’t count anymore.
Over the last 5 years, shared, flexible offices have become incredibly popular. And already, as Andrew Robinson (the co-founder of SiSebenza) explains in his latest BizCommunity article, it’s worth a lot of money.
“Flexible, co-working and shared offices currently count for 5% of the global office space market, with an estimated value of $26bn,” Andrew says. “Having shown 15% year-on-year growth over the past five years (...) there is no slowing down in the future with predictions that by 2030, its total market share will increase to 30%.”
For new and small businesses, choosing flexible office space makes a lot of sense. Good business sense too. Flexible office space (renting a desk for each or all of your employees) is a cost-effective and exciting way to work, decreasing your overheads, giving you access to world-class facilities, and opening up new opportunities for networking.
This new way of working is also unlocking business opportunities, inspiring people to open shared office spaces like Inner City Ideas Cartel (Cape Town), Kohoots (Jozi), Ideas Assembly (Pretoria) and Treehouse Workspace (Umhlanga). With more and more companies choosing this new way of doing business, expect to see an increase in companies working from flexible, shared office space in South Africa.
To see if there is a coworking space near you, click here.
Potentially one of the biggest business trends worldwide is the move towards social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Taking care of the environment has never been more important, and going into the future the demand to do so is only going to increase by customers, corporations, investors and governments.
Already this is having an influence on South Africa’s biggest corporations, with new regulations in place like the Carbon Tax Act. A move intended to force big business to find new, innovative and responsible ways to do as little damage to the planet as possible.
How does eco friendly business impact small businesses? It changes who customers and big enterprises are willing to work with. The recent Cape Town water crisis is a good example, sadly putting many small businesses that relied heavily on water (from hotels to car wash companies and more) under intense financial pressure.
Big enterprises that often rely on small businesses as their key suppliers are now regularly questioning the way they source and produce their goods. And thanks to this trend they are choosing to work with eco friendly businesses that value environmental sustainability over businesses that don’t.
For South African franchises and retailers, being active on the Internet is becoming highly valuable. Customers expect to be able to find you online and offline, doing business with you wherever is the most convenient. At the exact same standards of service, for almost no additional costs.
It all comes down to the new generation of customer and modern style of shopping they expect. Thanks to the international popularity of online shopping, this generation of customers is looking to do business in three ways:
The customer visits your store to get advice and feel the product they want to buy, then they order it online (to be delivered to their door).
They research the product online, reading reviews and articles, checking the price, and only then come in to buy.
Customers do research online, purchase the product online and expect you to deliver it to their door.
Over the next few years, expect this trend to continue. As the Internet and technology become more advanced and online shopping grows more popular, customers are guaranteed to do more online shopping.
Wondering if you need to invest in online shopping? Read our article Is An Online Store Better Than An Actual Shop? to learn more about online shopping and what it can do for your business.
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