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Looking Ahead to 2021 — Small Business Trends on the Horizon

In the world of small businesses, competition is at a fever pitch. COVID-19 has impacted the small business community like a cyclone, wreaking economic havoc by forcing temporary — and permanent — closures, reducing active employment and disrupting revenue flow across the board.

At least 70% of small business owners are worried about coronavirus closures further impacting their bottom lines as the crisis continues to batter the economy, with 7.5 million businesses at risk for permanent closure.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy, and, while many have suffered setbacks in recent months, some are flourishing in the wake of the pandemic. The trick is to be flexible and be able to make competent business decisions, even in the face of uncertainty.

One way to keep ahead of the competition, make better decisions, and forge ahead in a post-COVID world is to stay on top of small business trends for the coming year.

We have selected a few of the most impactful trends that our research revealed to share in this article.

Small Business Trends to Watch in 2021

While the pandemic has taken a toll on consumers and business owners alike, there is good news on the horizon for small businesses.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Hopefulness is Still a Thing

A new survey by Bluehost showed three out of four businesses had a positive outlook on the future, with much of the good news being due to sales in an online environment.

In fact, 75% of businesses expected online sales to grow in 2021 and half saw no need to continue to have brick-and-mortar facilities.

  1. Passion Rules

The second leading motivation for opening a business in the upcoming year is to pursue a passion, preceded by the ability to be one’s own boss.

Importantly, for 19% of people, the opportunity presented itself — and higher education is not always needed for success. Surveyors speculate that technology is the sweet spot that helps business owners bridge any gaps in skill, particularly automated tools and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

  1. Communication is Key

Millennials are and will continue to be, the greater part of the workforce — comprising 75% of it by 2025.

They are, by nature, tech-savvy and on-the-go so the smart small business will need to adapt communication protocols to include mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and more to shift engagement, increase productivity, and reduce miscommunication.

  1. Remote Work is Here to Stay

Freelancers already contribute $1.4 trillion to the economy each year and by the end of 2020, they will make up at least 40% of the workforce. A robust telecommunications platform will be essential to help remote teammates stay connected and collaborate effectively.

  1. E-commerce is Skyrocketing

Within the next four years, e-commerce is expected to grow to $5 trillion as retailers continue to move from brick-and-mortar shops to online stores. A strong network, robust ordering system, and essential cybersecurity will be critical to online success.

Edwards Business Systems — Your Small Business Advocate

It is obvious from the trends that today’s small business has a lot to think about when planning for future success.

At Edwards Business Systems (EBS) we have many small business clients that we have served throughout this continuing crisis, so we understand the challenges faced by smaller proprietors on a very personal level.

Our suite of managed services — print, IT, and document management — can help smaller organizations by serving as their IT department and keeping vital information flowing and organized. Our team of experts ensures you have the resources, equipment, and talent you need — without having to spend budget money on hiring expensive IT staff.

Additionally, we have a wide range of products and services that specifically target areas small businesses need to focus on in the coming year — telecommunications, cybersecurity, and connectivity.

We can provide a cost-effective VoIP telecommunications system, lock down your data with cutting-edge cybersecurity, and provide infrastructure and software to ensure your team is connected — whether they are working in-house, remotely, or on the go.

Make 2021 the Year of the Small Business. Contact an EBS representative now to discover how you can tap into cost-effective technology that will assure you a spot ahead of the competition.

November 9th, 2020