The year is coming to a close and it feels like the last part of a very uncomfortable trilogy.
2020, 2021 and 2022 have been far from ideal as starters, and as we move into the main course of the decade, the question is, can we turn the nightmare into a dream? I’m forever the optimist and I do believe we can. After all, it’s darkest before the dawn.
For any entrepreneur, business owner or leader it has been tough, but its also been very hard for their teams. From furlough to redundancies, and a complete shift in pretty much everything about everyday, change has been the only constant!
So, where’s the light at the end of the tunnel? Can we all move forward? What does the future hold for the world of business?
Here are my top 10 predictions (in no particular order):
Sustainability over profit.
I believe that cost cutting will be part of the journey for most people rather than scaling at all costs. Everything will need to be sustainable and repeatable, and productivity, tools and teams will experience the benefit. We’re talking streamlining, but with a more pragmatic approach to growth. The best in class will win and those going for a ‘cash grab’ will be exposed.
Partners, not one off’s.
Trust is everything these days. People want to build long term relationships and then scale them. We can look forward to having less clients and better service, with the same turnover. More time will be spent getting to know the person behind the product and this is where networking will make a comeback in the year to come. The changing season heralds a return to people doing business with people and taking that extra time to learn about each other. Collaboration and not competition will be the order of the day.
‘No code’ fuels innovation.
I can’t say this enough. Increasingly, ‘citizen developers’ will be developing specific tools for automated tasks. Products will be tried and tested rather than companies investing in tech ‘at all costs’. No code will become the new code and citizen developers will offer an alternative to coders charging sky high prices. This is the new smart. From idea to MVP, quicker, faster and smarter, with an emphasis on feedback, and users a priority.
Podcasts replace webinars.
Zoomed out! That is the general rule with people happier to tune in and hit up a landing page after a podcast show than being held hostage in a zoom room!
Listening to educators on key subjects with real life examples will help people make more informed decisions, but they’ll be doing it while on the go… ie. at the same time as running, chilling or as an alternative sound track. Webinars are a thing of the past!
Smaller tighter teams.
In the world of scale, having smaller, tighter teams might seem counterintuitive. Yet, with productivity and ways of working changing, additional team members will not necessarily be a measure of growth. Productivity will be the new measure, and higher paid, smaller teams will become more common than lower paid, larger teams. The good news is that this allows for making people a priority and for the right hires.
Four Day work weeks. Standard.
We have been running the four day work week now for 3.5 years and we often forget that life was ever any other way. The 4 day work week has been a great success. It changed the way we work and it allowed for more free time for people to refuel, unwind and enjoy their nearest and dearest with trips out, sleeping in or days spent reading! People want a balance in work and life and the four day work week will become standard. The ‘it won’t work in our industry’ crowd will have to find a way or they will see a workforce switch sector or adopt new methods (rota anyone?).
City migration speeding up.
Parking, congestion and even clean air tariffs will see people begin to migrate. People used to leave London for the Cotswolds, and many people will be moving out of cities for a happier, healthier life and businesses will follow. I can see it. High streets in rural towns and independent stores will replace the trek into cities for both work and play. Holiday homes will become real homes and ‘local’ will make a return. Shopping trips to places where parking isn’t charged at a premium will see out of town retail parks return to favour. Retail villages over the ruckus in cities.
Side hustles will be an accepted norm.
We believe everyone will have a side hustle. Whether that is speaking, educating, product building or consultation, everyone will have one eye in the present and an option in the future. Passion projects will become a new stream of income as the early evening ‘Netflix and chill’ will look more like “Side hustle and pay the bill”. From extra income for a holiday, to paying off unwanted debts, to building a pot of treasure, side hustles and the creation of multiple income streams will replace streaming TV.
Unplugging from the matrix.
The way we used to do life will make a comeback. From iPads to notepads, screens to scenes, their will be a push back from being plugged in, to unplugging from the world around us. In a world of social media noise, people will start looking up and looking out. More and more people will get back in tune with the simple things in life. Tech will find its place rather than being front and centre, it will enhance life’s experience rather than being the experience. That will be an innovation in itself.
Alcohol will be the new smoking.
Generation Z are leaving it behind and Gen X are quietly quitting the pint. A rise in 0.0% alcohol alternatives has accelerated the transition to soft drinks. Many entrepreneurs have already made it a lifestyle choice and I believe we will see the rise of teetotalism as more people consider health as wealth. Yes, that social drink will still be around but the need to escape from the day to day will dwindle as we become the architects of our lives.
As 2022 draws to a close, 2023 gives us a fresh opportunity to embrace the wins and embrace the lessons learnt. 2022 has been an incredible, challenging, white knuckle ride with struggles and sanity checks mixed with success. However, in 2023 we are all hoping for some normality.
If there is a word to carry into 2023 that best sums up where we find ourselves I’d say the word is…
P U R S U E
Continue or proceed along (a path or route)
Pursue your purpose, remove the blockages and optimise today to make room for tomorrow!
Next week, I’ll share some more!!!