As a small business owner, it’s key to have a complete understanding of today’s market, knowing which trends, products and sectors are driving the most consumer interest and generating enormous profits as a result. It allows you to spot new opportunities to diversify your business, introducing new stock or services to cater for customers’ ever-changing preferences and needs.
Today, a range of technical innovations are driving both B2C and B2B interest for technology-minded business owners to consider, from AI (artificial intelligence) in the workplace and the home, to remote working infrastructure like the cloud, and services to ensure these complex connectivity networks are secure (known as IoT security).
These technologies are expected to significantly boost business productivity, efficiency and profitability, with a PwC report anticipating that by 2030, artificial intelligence alone will increase the UK’s GDP by as much as 5%.
It’s worth thinking about how you can include developing technologies into your business model and product or service. After all, many of the world’s leading companies today are ones that embraced new technology early – from Google, to Amazon, to Uber.
While quality food and drink is always in demand, a wave of innovations within the industry means that the sector’s in a particularly strong moment.
For one, many foodservice establishments have adapted exceptionally well to changes in our behaviours and expectations. In response to the UK’s ever-increasing working hours, we’ve seen the rise of twenty-four hour foodservice outlets like FEAST. Customers are also looking for alternative culinary experiences such as quirky independent outlets like cereal and cat cafes.
At the same time, we’ve seen the sector incorporating technology into its services in order to appeal to the masses and stay current with consumer trends. Apps like JustEat and Uber Eats have meant that it’s never been easier to order a takeaway (at literally the click – or tap – of a button). And many companies are turning to apps to streamline the order process itself, too, from Wetherspoons to Starbucks.
If you’re in the food industry today, have you thought about adapting your business to keep up with the latest trends? It’s always worth thinking about how life is changing for your customers, and in what ways you can adapt your business model to cater for them.
Clothing and fashion is always going to be something that’s high on consumers’ agendas, and as such, it’s always a growth area.
In the last year, we’ve seen exceptional performances from some of the nation’s leading ecommerce clothing retailers. For the first time ever, exclusively online high-end retailer Farfetch reported that its online sales exceeded a phenomenal $1 billion. Meanwhile, fast fashion brand Missguided enjoyed an incredible year, with best-in-class marketing (including collaboration with Love Island) really bringing it to the front of customers’ minds.
Analysts perceive 2018 as the first year in which millennials’ spending power outranked Baby Boomers’, so it’s definitely worth thinking about millennials when planning for 2019.
At Esme, we offer business loans ranging from £10,000 to £250,000* over a 1 to 5 year repayment period. A business loan can offer you a quick injection of capital that can help your business expand in exciting directions without having to worry about major hits to your cash flow.
Think you’re ready to make the next move? Just fill out our 10 minute application form or try our business loan calculator to get an idea of how much your monthly repayments could be.
*From £25,500 for Sole Traders