A new year can be an effective time to make personal as well as business resolutions. Keeping up with business trends can help you identify new opportunities to fit into your plans.
A good first step can be to review your business for areas of improvement. What worked well last year? How did you spend most of your time? Understanding this can help you spot and act on opportunities.
New trends to take advantage of
Here are some key trends to consider that may help your business this year.
1. Another way to pay
Adding another payment method to your business can help you stay competitive, making it faster and easier for your customers to pay you. Australian retailers can now accept Alipay in-store, for example, which is China’s leading mobile payment app.1 It’s used by more than 700 million users globally and offers an end-to-end marketing platform reaching Chinese tourists and nationals. There are 1.3 million Chinese tourists who visit Australia each year, and Alipay may offer them another way to pay.
2. Deeper customer relationships
With CommBank’s Global Research team expecting ‘weak wages growth, high debt levels, job security fears, falling house prices and general economic fears’2 across Australia to continue into 2019, building stronger customer relationships could be key to helping your business withstand difficult conditions. Sophisticated insights tools like Wiise offer business owners greater information about their customers to help personalise their experiences and support key decision making.
3. Energy efficiency and climate awareness
Climate change and the cost of energy may continue to be a concern for businesses and consumers, who may increasingly build environmental sustainability into their purchase decisions. Adopting sustainable packaging is one action you could take to attract these customers.
Including a business sustainability plan into your business plan can help you understand and manage your business impact on the environment. There’s also a range of energy rebates for eligible Australian businesses and individuals that may help your business to become more energy efficient.
4. Wellbeing at work
Strong leadership, good communication, shared values, positive energy and diversity are all key qualities for building a positive culture at work, Women in Focus heard. This may help attract talent and positive consumer sentiment, while keeping employees engaged. Activities that help build your wellbeing, such as building a business community and focusing on work-life balance, will help set your business up to take advantage of opportunities.
1 How China's tech giants Alibaba and Tencent want to shape how the world pays, 6 December 2017
2 Global Markets Research Economics: Economic Update report, 11 January 2019