As the manager of the Wyoming SBDC Network’s Market Research Center, one of my jobs is to keep an eye on business trends that look like they will impact the businesses in our state. The list is a long one, but the following are my bets for trends that could impact you, your business, and our state economy in the coming year. So. What trends will impact Wyoming Businesses in 2020?
#1 – Remote Workers
Remote work, especially for office workers is fast becoming common place. Remote workers don’t generally work 100% of the time from home or a remote location. However, allowing workers to work remotely two or three days a week gives both the worker and the business added flexibility. Younger workers find this type of flexibility important. Additionally, studies show that remote workers put in a full day’s work or more. It also helps small businesses, who can’t always afford to hire a full-time person for a special project but by hiring a temporary person can fill an immediate need.
#2 – The Gig Economy
In addition to working remotely, around 36% of workers (and especially younger workers) are involved in the gig economy. Many workers have a “side hustle” or secondary job. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses this way. However, estimates indicate that it is not just business owners as 36% of workers are in the gig economy. With Wyoming’s independent mindset, it is likely that more of our workers will like the flexibility of the gig economy. The chart from Gallup below shows what traditional, contingent gig and independent gig workers think.
#3 – Employee Happiness
Businesses are increasingly focusing on employee happiness. If you look at Wyoming’s job market, with our nearly full employment, you can understand why finding ways to keep your current employees happy and engaged are important. Keeping your best workers is no longer simply reliant on competitive wages. Companies are now focusing on boosting morale and engagement while retaining top performers.
“Businesses [will be] focusing on employee engagement and happiness. Because unemployment is at historic lows, keeping employees engaged and happy is critical to retaining good people. Furthermore, many people are unhappy with the state of our country and the world right now. Keeping them happier at work … boosts productivity 10 to 25 percent.”
– Scott Crabtree, chief happiness officer at Happy Brain Science
#4 – E-Commerce is Dominating
E-Commerce is expected to reach around $5 trillion in the next few years. Many retailers are moving from brick and mortar storefronts to online stores. If you aren’t online, how confident are you that your physical store will be able to continue to succeed?
Other trends that Wyoming businesses need to consider are the growth of the “green market”, the increasing importance of online user reviews, the shift to “stories (short video content that disappears after 24 hours), the fact that personalized customer service is vital, and the need to address the way you need to reach younger consumers. The only thing that seems to be constant in today’s business world is that change is constant! What do you see changing with your business this year?
Help is Available
If you would like to learn more about what trends will impact Wyoming in 2020 and how you can apply this to your small business, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance by clicking here.
About the author: In over 16 years Mike has built an information resource for Wyoming businesses that is unique in the nation. The Wyoming SBDC Network’s Market Research Center specializes in providing any Wyoming business with access to advanced marketing information that was previously available only to a few of the largest corporations. Mike’s individual expertise also includes marketing, product management, product development, international trade and export.