There has been a lot of talk lately about Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to change how nearly every business owner runs and grows their company. And it’s already happening. The recent introduction of ChatGPT has expanded curiosity into artificial intelligence and ignited interest into how to best leverage the tool in everyday business operations. It is by all accounts pretty impressive stuff. Even the big dogs like Google and Microsoft are adding the technology to their platforms and browsers.
While AI is expected to quickly impact nearly everything we touch, it isn’t the only factor transforming the way we do business in our post-pandemic world.
1. The Expected Rise of E-Commerce
If your business is not engaged in e-commerce, now might be the time.
E-commerce boomed during the pandemic. Shopify reported nearly a $900 billion increase in e-ecommerce sales throughout Covid lockdowns. While online sales have certainly leveled off a bit since then, the global industry is still up more than 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels and is expected to grow to more than $8 trillion in the next three years.
To add e-commerce to your business strategy, first evaluate your cash flow, available resources, manufacturing options, and shipping dynamics.
Next create a selling strategy that aligns your product or service with market demands. Establish an online presence on sites where your customers frequent. Consider low-cost, high-yield engagement campaigns on social media.
If you already offer your products and service online but want to increase your e-commerce sales, think about investing in advanced software solutions. There are a lot of great ones out there to choose from.
2. The Emergence of Quiet Hiring
The employment sector has been incredibly volatile over the last few years. Work-from-home dynamics, the Great Resignation, and Quiet Quitting all made hiring and employee retention a bit of nightmare for many organizations.
Now business owners and HR departments are starting to regain some semblance of control by implementing what is being called a Quiet Hiring strategy. Quiet hiring takes the focus off employee acquisition and instead emphasizes internal talent mobility.
Quiet hiring is expected to really take hold in the coming year, as businesses create ways to engage, support, and elevate their current teams to meet operational goals. By implementing mentoring programs, leadership development initiatives, and other career growth opportunities throughout their organizations, businesses gain employee loyalty and are no longer hobbled by an unenthusiastic labor pool.
Quiet hiring can also have a dramatic impact on creating a positive company culture. It is really a win-win for both employees and business owners.
3. Authenticity As a Calling Card
The pandemic was brutal for business owners in so many ways, but one silver lining emerged from the challenges: an increased value placed upon the importance of brand authenticity.
Brand authenticity essentially means the extent to which a business is true to itself and its customers. It’s about integrity and commitment and honesty. Brand authenticity might sound like a simple, almost obvious approach, but it is shockingly lacking in many businesses today. And, moving forward, that can be a dealbreaker for a large swath of customers, particularly socially-conscious Gen Zees and Millennials.
Underscore brand authenticity in your business by being clear and forthcoming in communications with your customers, investors, and other key stakeholders. Always deliver on both formal (think “Our Promise to Our Customers”) and informal commitments you make. Create an open and engaging line of communication on social media channels and customer service interactions.
Brand authenticity is about accountability. It’s about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. By embracing authenticity, you and your business are much better positioned to grow and retain a loyal customer base for years to come.