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15 Trends That Are Expected To Drive Small Business In 2021

Marcus Costales
December 11, 2020
15 Trends That Are Expected To Drive Small Business In 2021

By Expert Panel® Forbes Councils Member, Dec 11, 2020


To say that Covid-19 has been a game-changer for small businesses in the United States would be an understatement. Facing financial constraints and other limitations imposed by the pandemic, many small businesses have had to come up with creative solutions to maintain a steady stream of revenue.

The pandemic hasn’t subsided yet, and it is bound to continue influencing small businesses in the year to come. Below, 15 Forbes Coaches Council members discuss the trends they believe will drive small business in the year 2021 as well as ways to prepare for them.

Featured members discuss trends that will drive small business in 2021.
Forbes Coaches Council members discuss trends that will drive small business in 2021. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

1. Visible Digital Footprints

An excellent digital footprint and visibility will be a must for the small business next year. As everyone is spending significant time on the internet, having a great digital presence and branding will help when competing for new projects, contracts, partnerships and opportunities. This is an excellent way to highlight your product or service, engage and build community. - Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute

2. Agility

Restrictions will still be around, heavily affecting small and medium-sized enterprises. However, they have an advantage over the big corporations: A smaller size means potential for quick shifts of focus, be they in service delivery, marketing or team structuring. The quicker small businesses are able to pivot and adapt during these ongoing turbulent times, the higher their fitness and success will be. - Ruben Crawford, Empowertale Ltd

3. Virtual Efficiency And Productivity Experts

Small businesses will need efficiency and productivity experts that specialize in virtual teams. During the pandemic, every business has faced being forced to digitize, virtualize and dematerialize. There are huge opportunities to help businesses recover from lost revenue and use new technology more effectively with virtual teams. - Mike Koenigs, The Superpower AcceleratorMORE FOR YOUThe 10 Biggest Business Trends For 2021 Everyone Must Be Ready ForSeven Digital Marketing Trends For 2021Business Trends To Embrace In 2021

4. Talent Problems

Small businesses will continue to battle talent problems in the foreseeable future. The war for talent was only paused during Covid-19, and it has already resumed in most industries. Organizations have a choice: They can build learning and people-development cultures to keep teams engaged long-term, or they can build recruiting empires to address the constant turnover of employees. - Brad Cousins, Ingage Human Capital Strategies

5. Pre-Meeting Packs

A trend that will drive small businesses is the use of customized pre-meeting packs. These pleasant surprises take advantage of snail mail in a time of digital saturation. Many organizations send their board members these packs a day prior to a long online meeting. The packs can include a mix of food snacks, office accessories or stationery. Highlighting local businesses is a big opportunity for small firms. - Natalie Nixon, Figure 8 Thinking, LLC

6. Workplace Culture

Workplace culture is a trend for leaders to optimize, capitalize and maximize. What people believe, think, say and do as well as the collective output of their behaviors define their company culture. The evolutionary impact of recent events is driving leaders to align budgets and priorities to support organizational health, resulting in better alignment to vision, values, goals and prosperity. - Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting

7. Customer Reviews

Customer reviews will be key. As people feel the financial pinch caused by this year’s pandemic, they will be looking for ways to save. They might forgo buying the big brand names and look around for alternatives. This opens the door for small businesses to step in. While they might lack the credibility of a big brand, a list of glowing reviews from customers can definitely sway the sale. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy

8. Clarity

Our time seems to be eaten up with virtual meetings and webinar training. Be absolutely clear about whether a meeting or training is going to be paramount. We are tired of being on virtual meetings that waste our time, leaving us frustrated and overwhelmed. Before the meeting, collaborate on a clear agenda, clear objectives and desired outcomes. Also, start and finish on time. - Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC

9. Creative Joint Ventures 

I think more small businesses will seek out creative collaborations and joint ventures with other small businesses. Diversifying the risk via another collaborator and entering markets not previously considered will increase their chances of longer-term survivability. - Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership

10. Local Community Networking

People buy from people, especially now that we’re limited in where we’re able to go. If small businesses want to compete with the big brands and online options, they’ll need to connect with their communities more than ever. Nothing helps a business more than locals spreading the word to their friends. So get “out there,” network on sites like LinkedIn and watch your business thrive! - Miranda VonFricken, Miranda VonFricken - Masterminds & Personal Growth Coaching!

11. E-Commerce

If they aren’t already, small businesses must get into the world of e-commerce. Everything a business offers should have an e-commerce component, and training, onboarding and other aspects of leadership have to be e-commerce ready. As 2020 has proved, you have to be ready to pivot on a dime to survive in an ever-changing landscape, and it starts by getting everyone e-commerce-facing. - Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience

12. Data-Driven Digital Strategies

Small companies will work intensively on digital strategies to adapt to new forms of consumption and other consequences of the pandemic. It will be especially important to carry out market studies that allow us to know the new demands firsthand. Additionally, small businesses should work on the flexibility of structures and costs to make them viable and competitive. - José Luís González Rodriguez, ActionCOACH

13. Technological Disruption

Pandemic-fueled technological disruption will continue to shift the very nature of work, affecting how organizations maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace. This will be particularly true for small businesses, which, in an increasingly interconnected virtual world, will be competing not only with bigger players in the market, but also with other small businesses from around the globe. - Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

14. Unique Online Courses

Online courses have been a great way to pivot business during the pandemic. If you have a unique knowledge base and a customer engagement model, pouring knowledge into do-it-yourself courses can independently save your business this coming year. It is not limiting, and it becomes passive income, as long as you use quality cameras in the creation of original course content. - Amera McCoy, McCoy Consulting LLC

15. Investments In Infrastructure And Customer Engagement

Next year will pay dividends to small businesses who invest wisely now in themselves and their customers. The small businesses that are operating out of fear right now will face even more fear and losses to competitors who are investing in their infrastructure and customer engagement to stay relevant now. Don’t let fear drive you. Find the opportunity and capitalize. - Dhru Beeharilal, Nayan Leadership, LLC


SOURCE: Expert Panel®
VIA: forbes.com
MAIN IMAGE SOURCE: pexels.com

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