What Trends Will Shape Small Business in 2016?

Here at Fundamental, we offer creative solutions to help businesses grow. Starting with an honest understanding of our clients’ needs and challenges, we eliminate common pain points in lending. Partnering with the right people is a huge part of success. But as any great leader will tell you, so is preparedness. 

Can we predict the future? Hell no. And if anyone in our business says they can, run. What we can do is provide sound advice from our depth of expertise. We can also pass along insights to help you be prepared for the challenges of 2016 and turn them into opportunities. 

That’s why we’re spotlighting some key recommendations from Inc. Magazine’s great recent article on the 13 Trends That Will Transform Small Business in 2016. Ensuring that your operations are ready to meet these changing trends make it much more likely 2016 will be your best year yet:

Law, Politics, and Nature

  • Extreme weather can bring business to a halt fast. This year's El Nino is the most forceful in almost two decades. To prepare, make sure you have an emergency plan for the disasters most likely to affect your region. If you haven't updated your Property Insurance in a while, check to make sure it covers the biggest threats.
  • Protests shut down Chicago's Magnificent Mile on Black Friday, the year's biggest shopping day. Given the current social and political climate (not just in Chicago, but around the country), that may be the new normal. Develop a plan for working if your business is inaccessible and communicate it with your employees.

Employment Issues

  • A California judge recently ruled that Uber's workers can proceed with a class-action employment lawsuit challenging their status as independent contractors. The trial could have a transformative impact on the sharing economy. Whether you rely on independent contractors or work as one yourself, the final ruling could affect you.
  • Despite Uber's headlines, race and gender employment actions remain the most commonly filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you have employees, familiarize yourself with employment regulations to avoid an unexpected lawsuit.

Cyber Security & Digital Technology

  • Rising cyber insurance costs and increased willingness by lawyers to try data breach cases make data breaches more expensive than ever. Luckily, as many as 90 percent are preventable. 2016 is the year to get serious about in-house security to avoid the costs and headaches of a breach.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) breaches are also likely to pick up in 2016. As manufacturers of everything from toys to cars to household appliances get in on the IoT trend, the number of potential security holes increases. Creators of these products aren't always traditional IT companies, so they may not have the security background necessary to deliver secure products. If you're using IoT products, be aware of your increased data breach exposure. If you're selling or recommending them, know that you could have liability in the event of a breach.
  • Increased ad blocker usage could affect businesses that rely on online advertising to draw new customers. While this likely isn't a problem for most small businesses, it could affect programmers, developers, and marketing consultants.

Here’s wishing you preparedness and prosperity in 2016. When it comes to lending, we’d love to help you with both. So don’t hesitate to drop us a line.