Business owners of today are operating in a world of constantly changing trends and obsessions in the short period of a few months (if they’re lucky). With the advancement of technology and where it is today, there are seemingly endless ways of doing almost everything in a business and there is hardly a norm for most business models anymore.
Modern day consumer
The modern day consumer is driven by their mobile devices. Their smartphones tell them what to do, where to go, that it’s time to get up and walk and what events are happening close to where they are. Their lives are managed by these devices and the reasons for needing to go to a physical store or business, are dwindling. Online is convenient, time-saving and instant. Therefore, they are always connected.
They buy based on emotion and the experiential value of the product or service offered. Businesses need to start catering for this consumer quality and play on a consumer’s visual pleasures throughout their store and their marketing efforts.
Consumers of today are part of a “Now” generation. Patience is no longer a virtue, it’s a concept reserved for personal relationships. With the ability to access information within a matter of seconds, consumers are not happy to wait for your customer service to get back to them or stand in line when online checkouts are a thing.
They have the power to build and break business’ reputations by the likes of a comment, status update or touch of a share button. And this is on a global scale. Modern day consumers are informed about the ways of the world, and anything they don’t know, they can instantly search for.
Modern day employee
Consumers are not the only components of a business that business owners need to learn to accommodate in current times. The modern day employee may require you to update your HR degree by doing an HR management course and touching up on any new requirements or considerations for your workplace environment.
The modern day employee is looking for flexibility in their hours and environment. Many people of today are extremely busy between work and home, both of which are of equal importance. They want to be able to work “flexi” hours and be able to telecommute (work from home) whenever they find it necessary. In a world where digital is as reliable and advanced as it is, your employees are going to fight with you to see reason in their requests. They want to work hard and do well, they’re just looking for a bit of support.
Employees are also looking for growth opportunities in their position, fairness amongst the office and recognition for their efforts. There is an idea of power in the minds of modern day employees because they know their value, thanks to the internet and their success in the business. There is almost an expectation of flexibility and eventual promotion from potential and current employees and business owners need to either stand firm on their business principles or evaluate their ability to accommodate and retain star employees.
Modern day challenges
As if having to deal with modern day consumers and employees weren’t enough of a business owner's nightmare, there are other modern day business challenges that they need to deal with as well. Aware of the power of the consumer and the expectations of employees, businesses need to know how to adapt and accommodate these audiences.
The decision of going digital and moving along with technological advances is an important step in understanding the market and consumer needs. Although an initially costly venture, digitalisation in a business will save time and money in the long term and will make it easier to adapt to the trends and demands of the times.
Business owners are challenged by their competitors and keeping up with competition because of the ability for business models to change and the ease that comes with starting a business these days. Everyone can be an entrepreneur and online businesses are very quickly replacing trusted “offline” businesses because of efficiency. The online department of a business is crucial in increasing reach and maximising marketing efforts because online is where the consumers are.
There is a business challenge to constantly increase your company’s knowledge for all industries, not only those directly related to your business. Integration of the markets and overall market knowledge is one of the ways to make sure your business is optimised in every area possible.
At the same time, now is the best time to be a business owner with endless opportunities to thrive and use the modern day consumer and employee to your business advantage.