Last year was not all bad; many businesses grew unexpectedly, and some new trends emerged and will likely persist. For example, few people “Zoomed” meetings, and companies did not know what PPE was or how important it would be to have hand sanitizers, masks, and air movement in their place of work.
At Kona Impact, we noticed a few trends in 2020 that might have flown beneath most people’s radar 2020. These trends, we believe, are only likely to grow in 2021 and beyond.
Business Trends That will
Grow in 2021
Everyone Can Become an Entrepreneur – Sites like Etsy took off in 2020. Tens of thousands of burgeoning entrepreneurs are now selling their wares online. Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon program has allowed many the opportunity to sell online without their website and back-end services. These services’ cost is very high–upwards of 20% of the items retail price. Commodity-type products are hard to sell at a profit, but customized and unique products have more differentiation and can do well.
Customization for the Masses – It used to be that the tools to make customized water bottles and other products were way out of the range of a small business like Kona Impact. 2020 saw more offerings for machines that can customize things locally. Our new flatbed UV printer can make personalized tumblers, signs, mugs, and even golf balls3. No longer do people have to go online and have frustration, risk, and frustrating delivery delays. We expect an explosion in locally-made customized products.
Online Presence: Leap Frogging Will Grow –This refers to a new business in town out-marketing an established competitor by having a remarkable online presence. It used to be that a big yellow pages ad and some newspaper ads could maintain one’s visibility in a community. Those days are long gone. I’ve seen close up how upstart businesses can jump ahead of older, established companies in town with a concerted online marketing program. From our perspective, established enterprises are losing vast amounts of new clients due to ineffective online marketing. This trend of the agile and innovative taking market share from recalcitrant and overly conservative companies (in terms of marketing) continues and grows in the coming years.
Other Notable 2021 Trends – Forbes has a good article about 2021 trends that will impact small businesses. Inc. takes a wider macro view. The Small Business Administration also has some small-business focused ideas.