A photo by Alex wong. unsplash.com/photos/l5Tzv1alcps

Trying to predict the future is always an imprecise science. But there are some key business trends emerging that may well impact on your organisation and how you run it. In this article we examine those emerging trends so that you can be well prepared and assess how you might respond.

Millennials make way to Generation Z

Until very recently all the business media were full of talk about how the Millennials were going to have such a big impact on the world of commerce. Well, move over Millennials, it’s now the turn of Generation Z (Gen-Z) to make their mark.  Gen-Z is the new kid on the block in terms of generational cohorts and roughly covers today’s teens and young adults born after 1995.

Gen-Zers have been characterised as being entrepreneurial self-starters with a common trait of innovation and invention. You can expect to hear a great deal more about Gen-Z and its influence on the workplace in the years to come.

Increase in independent working

Although this is not an entirely new trend, more and more skilled professionals are now going it alone as freelancers, creating what’s become known as the gig economy. The digitised and connected world that we all inhabit means that there are fewer barriers to acquiring and sustaining freelance projects. And a perceived better work-life balance has incentivised more professionals to give freelancing a go.

This is potentially good news for mainstream businesses as there will be increased opportunities to tap into an extended talent pool at critical moments for your organisation. Need help with developing a new health and safety policy following the recent changes in legislation, but lacking the internal resources and time necessary? Or are you looking to implement an office intranet, but don’t know much about the technology? It’s tasks like these that could be better achieved and at a more cost-effective rate in the gig economy.

Growth in social media selling

More and more selling, brand recognition and marketing is taking place on social media. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have all made major moves to enable social selling with original brand content. Companies will need to re-examine their whole approach to creating the personal, social-media driven relationships their customers now expect.

One emerging way to make those connections is through what’s called leadership content. Original rather than shared content in blogs, videos or how to tutorials creates a sense amongst social media users of your brand as being an authoritative thought leader in your particular field. Generating meaningful leadership content will be an imperative for companies wanting to remain competitive in the social marketplace.

Keeping abreast of business trends is almost a full-time job in itself with so much happening. Narrowing down your focus to two or three key areas is a sensible approach to adopt and we suggest that you would be wise to keep your eye on the three trends we’ve identified as potentially being important ones to watch.