Large businesses account for only 0.1% of businesses in the UK, however they still employ 40% of the UK workforce and account for 53% of turnover. With such reliance placed on them what trends can big business expect in the next year? Let’s take a look.
Sustainable Living – Brands missing out on £820bn opportunity by not pushing sustainability
With major celebrities such as Pierce Brosnan, Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Branson endorsing sustainable living, big businesses need to embrace and invest in the development of more environmentally friendly practices. New research from Unilever shows that a third of consumers want to buy sustainable products and would purchase more if their benefits were made clearer.
Millennials and Gen Y want brands with purpose that are committed to a better future for all. To succeed globally big brands need to prove their social and environmental awareness by focusing on building trust and demonstrating that they can look after the planet as well as the communities they service. This is key in emerging markets where the effects of unsustainable business practices have more of an impact on daily lives of customers.
Cyber Attacks – it’s OK we have backup’s
Cybercriminals continue following the money trail, with ransomware and denial of service attacks becoming more widespread and increasing in scope and severity. Having backups is no longer enough, criminals are getting smarter and will encrypt backups prior to the main attack with a focus on attempting to hack cloud backups to manipulate and even delete data!
With media attention high in this area, consumers want to know that their data is safe and as legislation try’s to develop to keep pace, accountability is resting with businesses. What damage would this cause to brand and reputation for businesses where image is key?
Skills Shortages – the rise of apprenticeships
Skills shortage is expected to be one of the biggest threats to company’s competitiveness in 2017, there is even greater concern following Brexit, that businesses will find it difficult to recruit the skills they need due to reduced immigration.
With big businesses accounting for 40% of employment in the UK, it would seem logical that investment in the future generation would assist in eliminating the threat and strengthen the UK labour market. In addition, the government is committed to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 in an attempt to close the skills gap.
It seems like the logical solution for all is…… Invest in the future, now.
Sharing Economy – here use mine…….
The internet has created a world of sharing, from what we are eating for dinner to offering our homes as holiday lets, its apparent that the new generation has changing attitudes. Millennials are keen to embrace this new economic paradigm, where access is more important than ownership.
Airbnb and Uber are just two businesses that have maximised on this changing attitude. Businesses that fail to see change coming and the need to adapt to it have suffered, there are many examples with HMV and Nokia standing out.
Experiment and innovate but don’t ignore.
Working with Customers – what can I do for you?
The days of launching a new product or service and hoping that you have created something customers want, have gone. Intelligent businesses evolve their capabilities of interacting with customers working with them to deliver solutions to real problems. The rise of personalisation will bring consumers who want to work with businesses that understand them, so make sure you do.