Predictions, indications, intuition - Here's what I think 2020 is going to be like.
2020 will be 2019 XL, meaning larger and more. It will be bigger. I can feel it already. As soon as January 2nd started, everyone has hit the ground running and it hasn't stopped. I feel like I've already worked an entire month in just one week. I haven't felt or experienced this kind of energy in years. So, here's what I'm expecting:
BUSINESS: GO BIG OR GO HOME
For businesses, this will be another year of growth so better be prepared and willing to grow. Throughout 2018 and 2019 I saw many businesses experiencing growing pains. Many didn't want to hire as they still had memories of the 2010 recession in their minds and were expecting another one. Unfortunately, they could not handle all the growth as evidenced by the inability to meet deadlines or even complete estimates for projects. I saw many small businesses crash and burn - too much to do and overwhelmed. This was especially true for any kind of home or construction related business - residential construction, landscaping, home repairs, etc. I would advise them this year to hire and plan on growth for another 3 years. Lack of labor is going to continue to be a problem for them.
For professionals and the service industries, labor will also be a problem. I am observing a lot of short term employment and moving around. Employees have the upper hand and can pick and choose their work especially in any kind of hospitality, food service or retail profession. However, I would caution employees in these fields - too much changing jobs can make future employers skittish about hiring you. Try to stick around for at least 2 years. Employers need to think of creative ways to keep their staff and it doesn't always revolve around money.
ATTITUDES: MORE MORE MORE
Everything that happened in 2019 will be more for 2020 and that includes the negative as well as the positive. Get ready for another year of extreme emotions. Politics will get even more brutal. Employees will demand more because they have the upper hand. Employees will want more benefits and pay and perks. Consumers and clients will want more from you - more service, more product, more everything for their dollars because now they have the money to pay for it and can choose their services.
Wifi is now everywhere as well as smart phones. There isn't much you can do that you can't do on your phone. So, if you provide a service of any kind, better start thinking of ways to make your sales process as streamlined as possible through automation. Start thinking of ways you can provide clients the ability to communicate with you via technology. Start thinking of ways you can implement technology in your client process.
In the world of marketing, this appears to be the most frequent request I am getting now from clients - how to automate processes. They want to engage and create content but also don't need it sucking up all of their time. Clients want to automate as much of their marketing as possible but what does that mean?
I just sat down with a great company, Integritive, who has a fabulous, affordable program to automate the digital marketing funnel. Go them check out.
Just about no matter where you live, congestion is a problem. This is part of why podcasts and audio books are so popular but it is also why people are not attending small workshops, no matter how free unless there is parking and easy to get to. People don't want to travel unless they have to or want to (vacation, weddings, etc.). Think about it, if travel isn't necessary, don't make them do it. Instead, think of using video to deliver your services or your presentations. If you have events, make them worthwhile and combine with others - do some collaborative events with other partners. Think through your entire process and really ask yourself... is travel necessary?
PEOPLE: ATTENTION SPANS
Smartphones make life easier or do they? They have actually led to shorter attention spans. This is not just a problem of your teenager. It's everyone and everywhere and it's only going to get worse. If you have a business that relies on details then start thinking of ways you can keep yourself and your employees focused.
With videos and smartphones everywhere, employers need to make sure their hype matches their actions both on the inside as well as the customer facing side. Make sure you and everyone on your team and management knows that EVERYTHING can be recorded and shared. This will be a major issue in coming years. Where does the employer's right to keep tradesecrets and processes private and out of the public domain?
In summary, this is going to be a good year if you take advantage of all it has to offer. This is the year to set the stage for the next several years. It's a good time to invest in yourself and your business. Put your marketing into place; upgrade and update, train, buy that equipment, hire and get ready. You will then be ready when there is a recession. Everything in life operates on cycles and while we are on a big up cycle, there will equally be a down cycle. I encourage you to plan ahead and invest in your business. And, yes, I'm planning on doing the same thing!
And there you have it.... Check back in next year and let's see what happened!