While consumers are always looking for something new, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition.
As more and more entrepreneurs set up a business in Singapore, the market is increasingly becoming more competitive. In fact, among the common concerns of small business owners in Singapore faced in 2015 are rising rental costs, hiring roadblocks, uncertain economic trends, and increasing competition. Evaluating economic forecasts and current global and regional startup trends is critical in adjusting strategies, creating contingency plans, and addressing roadblocks.
If you are looking to start a business or wanting to expand your market, here are some of the top business trends in 2016 that you can utilize:
Businesses will embrace the power of Millennials.
To date, Millennials make up the biggest chunk of consumers and employees. The past years have shown a recurrent love-and-hate relationship with this demographic.
According to Liquid Leadership author and leadership development expert Brad Szollose, as an employee, Millennials want to be part of the companies they can be proud of. As consumers, Millennials will buy products and services from brands that care about the things that also personally matter to them the most.
Szollose suggests that embracing Millennials, instead of rejecting them, is crucial. Boomers will soon retire and since Generation X is relatively a smaller demographic compared to the throngs of dominant Millennials, leadership teams could soon be headed by the latter.
In a 2016 survey conducted by Deloitte Singapore, 63 percent of Millennials in the workforce said their “leadership skills are not being fully developed.” In Southeast Asian nations including Singapore and Malaysia, the chunk of Millennials who express this concern is over 70 percent. The findings were based in the data provided by almost 7,700 Millennial employees in 29 countries from September to October 2015.
If you are planning to hire Millennials this year, TheSalesZone.com co-founder Kim Cole said that sharing how your company can help people further develop their skills will attract top talents from this demographic to turn your way.
“Millennials need to see a clear vision of their growth and future role in the organization. They might have aspirations that go beyond their current skills,” said Cole.
This year, it’s all about connecting people.
Have you ever noticed that Facebook, one of the world’s most recognizable brands and leading media companies, is a company that creates no content? Everything Facebook publishes is created by its users.
UBER is currently the biggest and top-rated car service but they don’t own any vehicles. All the UBER vehicles on the road today are privately owned. And just to seal the deal, AirBNB is a leading accommodations provider but they don’t own any property.
These companies succeeded because they focused (and continue to do so) in making connections. Facebook connect users. UBER connects drivers to passengers. AirBnB connects property owners to renters.
This 2016, instead of spending money to building assets, companies are coming up with ways to connect the dots. If you are planning to open a business in Singapore, look for ways on how to build connections and relationships.
The year of Strength-Based Leadership.
The so-called Strengths-Based Leadership Theory is a technique used by companies to maximize the productivity, efficiency and overall success of the organization by focusing on (and continuously improving) their strengths rather than focusing on their deficiencies. In the past years, many employee reviews focused on discussing and improving on what the person lacks in order to overcome specific weaknesses.
According to a 2015 research by global performance-management consulting company Gallup, productivity is increased by 21 percent when employees are engaged. When employees’ strengths are highlighted rather than the weaknesses, they become more engaged in the workplace. Strength-based leadership empowers an organization and gives employees the chance to demonstrate their strengths in the workplace.
“Employees who work in their strengths zone daily are 6x as engaged as their peers. So as a leader, you should invest in their natural talents. When you do, the business gets a productivity boost and the employee feels more energized and in their flow,” said LeadThroughStrengths.com CEO Lisa Cummings.
This 2016, shift performance reviews towards highlighting your staff’s strengths rather than pinpointing what they still lack. If you are planning to launch your own small business, make sure to incorporate strengths-based leadership into your business plan.
Businesses will use games to engage both employees and customers.
We all know that hiring the best talents is instrumental in the success of your business. But that is just the first step. In the long term, what matters is that you keep your employees motivated, engaged and productive. According to a study conducted by Microsoft, the average attention span of humans in 2000 was 12 seconds. In 2013, the rate dropped to eight seconds. Ironically, as the technology makes the world a smaller place, news is delivered in 140 characters via social media and online conversations are reduced to a few emojis.
Businesses will embrace the digital media to create fun and games that will help them retain the attention of both employees and customers. Regardless of industry, you can always find a way to incorporate a fun way to grab your customers’ attention.
If you have a dental office in Singapore, why not create a gaming app that will simulate how a dentist cleans a patient’s teeth in a fun and engaging way? This can even help younger patients to think differently when visiting the dentist. Downloading the mobile app can even give your customers and employees a certain discount or a freebie when they visit your clinic in the next 30 days.
Business leaders will invest in customer service.
Author Jay Baer pointed out in an article that companies spend a marketing budget of around $500 billion annually while only a meager $9 billion is allocated for customer service. Advertising seems to trump customer service despite the knowledge that retaining customers is one of the top ways to increase revenue.
Many people seem to have an impression that getting new customers is the best way to promote growth and improve revenue. This notion, however, will get an overhaul in 2016 with smart companies investing more in developing a workplace culture that promotes customer service and satisfaction.
According to a 2015 study by the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University (ISES), the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSISG) in Singapore for the year 2014 reached a milestone with a record high rating of 71.1 points, rising for four consecutive years. The rate was 0.6 percent higher compared to the rating in 2013.
“Consumers have higher expectations of real fairness and responsiveness to complaints. It’s less and less easy to get rid of people with legitimate complaints by ignoring them or handing out a coupon,” said PeopleClaim CEO Mark Deuitch.
With the growing number of Singapore-based companies leveraging on powers of customer satisfaction, we can only expect this rate to continuously rise. If you are opening a business in Singapore, power up your venture with a good customer service system in place.