5 Predictions for 2024 Business

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As unpredictable as the business world can be, we can keep track of what’s to come by reflecting on what’s been happening the past year. 2024 is sure to throw some curveballs our way but so far, we can be sure of a few things.

Due to rising energy costs and high interest rates, the World Economic Forum anticipates a slowdown in global economic growth for 2024, with it dipping to 2.6% from 2.9% in 2023.

Businesses will have to adapt to overcome the challenges by using and investing in innovative technology, entering new, profitable markets, and focusing on their biggest revenue with potential cutbacks on the non-essentials.

Investing into technology

PwC Global CEO survey concludes that 48% of CEO’s say they are increasing investment into cyber security or data protection. The geopolitical state causes concern for CEO’s and there is an expectation of operational threats in the next 5 years. Businesses will have to protect their data from cyber threats. With the increasing use of technology comes the added risk of cyberthreats and so, security measures should be in place when investing in modern technology. This will ensure a consistent quality whilst reassuring clients and customers that they are protected despite modern technology being introduced.

Additionally, generative AI can be expected to reach all corners of business and 2024 will be a year of investments into AI technology.

AI can accomplish the labour-intensive tasks quicker than we could and therefore has the potential to relieve employees of those tasks so they can focus on other areas. The concern for many professions is the risk of AI taking jobs completely, causing people to be redundant in that role.

The Data Approach

With the advancement of technology comes new ways to complete tasks and often more efficient ways too. The data approach is a valuable business asset used by many to keep track of the business success and help to steer them in the right direction in the future. This includes data collection so that the company knows where the best area is and where they can improve, this can enlighten them on customer patterns.

John Deere, an American company that manufactures agricultural machinery is a successful example of using the data approach. They used AI software to create revenue generating patterns in order to sell the data to farms so they can improve productivity with the information. With access to data collection and AI analytics becoming widespread, 2024 will see smaller companies adopt the data approach in order to discover their customer patterns and improve their services.

Flexible working

Forbes reported that 12.7% of full-time employees work from home and 28.2% are hybrid working, going into the office occasionally in 2023. Flexible working is becoming a key deciding factor when people look for jobs and this is set to become more significant in 2024. The option of working from home that was implemented during COVID has quickly become popular with many companies as they no longer have the need for an office space and employees no longer have an undesirable commute.

Implementing a flexible working model can be advantageous to employer and employee, with the top talent flocking to those that value their work/life balance.

A sustainable Business model.

There has been pressure on CEO’s and companies to make a conscious effort into their impact on the environment. With the reports of climate change inciting fear into many, people are more willing to expose those who are not addressing the issue and taking responsibility for their share, particularly large businesses. There is a call to businesses to reflect on their production process including transportation, source materials and waste management.

If CEO’s want to maintain their customers and protect their reputation, they will have to set ESG goals and, more importantly, stick to them.

Adapting to the economic situation

2023 was a year of inflation for the CEO and the customer alike. Many struggled to adapt to the soaring prices of owning a business with over 105,000 closures in just the first quarter of 2023 and only 79,000 new opening, the largest record net decrease as City Monitor indicated. With Global inflation remaining at 5% we are heading into 2024 with uncertain hopes for businesses.

It is anticipated by thinktank that 7,000 businesses are likely to fail every quarter of 2024 due to the financial strain. CEO’s will have to prepare for another difficult year and set a plan to overcome the challenges.

Following the trends could be the redeeming quality for a business, by utilising new technology, using data to improve, and improving ESG levels this could set the business up for success. Keeping on top of what the trends are, allows a business to predict consumer buying behaviour and identify opportunities before they are gone.

2024 awaits…

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