The business world is continually evolving. Gone are the days when companies could operate in the same way year after year and hope for the same results. Following the birth of the internet, and given that consumers now have more options than ever before when it comes to making purchases, businesses have to continually update their methods, products and services to remain relevant.

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Regardless of industry or sector, businesses will not survive unless they are willing to adapt, and that means keeping on top of the latest trends and approaches. So, with that in mind, here are the five business trends you need to keep an eye on if you want to thrive in the years to come.

1. The value of data

If you haven’t read at least one article about the importance of data then you must have been living under a rock. GDPR regulations came into effect almost a year ago, and as a result, businesses have had to be clearer about what they do with their consumers’ data, and they must also give customers the opportunity to opt-in to prove they have no issues with their data being kept on record.

Given that most businesses do the vast majority of their marketing digitally, acquiring consumer data is absolutely essential. This means it’s also essential to give consumers a good reason to give you access to their email addresses, phone numbers and social media handles. By providing consumers with content that’s high in quality, and by promising them discounts and special offers via your marketing, you can offer value that cannot be found elsewhere.

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Getting your audience to opt-in is, without doubt, the best way of gathering data, especially when you consider that around 71% of all data that is purchased is considered to be inaccurate.

2. New methods of lending

Did you know that a staggering 4 out of every 5 small business loan applications are turned down? With that being the case, it is hardly surprising that many ambitious entrepreneurs are looking at different ways of getting the money they need to grow their businesses.

Many of these lending services have been designed to help businesses get their hands on money quickly, and tend to have very simple application processes. However, some of them require relatively large repayments quickly, so if you are considering a lender that is not a traditional bank, weigh up your options carefully.

3. A focus on personalization

In years to come, everything that can be personalised will be personalised. According to research, a whopping 96% of marketers believe that personalisation is very important when it comes to marketing. On top of that, four out of every five people say that they are more likely to deal with a company that offers a personalised experience.

If you have been able to accumulate data from your consumers, then it will be much easier for you to provide content that they genuinely want to consume, and you will also be able to offer them product suggestions based on previous purchasing habits.

4. Increased numbers of subscription services

According to research, subscription services grow by around 1% every month. There are any number of niches that businesses can exploit, and if they are marketed in the right way and to the right people, they can be very lucrative.

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Research has found that businesses with subscription services are capable of growing their revenues almost six times quicker than businesses without subscriptions, so it is certainly an approach worth contemplating.

5. Business cards

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Business cards may seem old fashioned nowadays, given that more and more business is done digitally, but you should not underestimate their ability to enhance your business. Handing out business cards can actually help increase business performance by as much as 2.5% for every 2,000 handed out.

And a quality business card can also help your organisation’s sustainability efforts. By creating a business card that is both high in quality and valuable to potential customers and clients, you can ensure that you are not contributing to the 50% of waste produced by businesses that is comprised of paper.

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