Planning to start a new business or upscale current operations in the new year? With the UK narrowly avoiding a recession through 2023, there are some widespread challenges and breakthroughs to navigate as we head into the new year. No matter your industry, it’s worth knowing about upcoming trends that could be worthy of your attention.
Corporate trends shaping trade in 2024: Our top 3 picks
- Soft skills
Despite monumental advances in technology through the current decade, entrepreneurs can be certain that the human touch will never go out of fashion. With technical functionality being more accessible than ever before, soft skills are still just as valuable and provide an insight to the quality and trustworthiness of the talent pool.
Soft skills can apply to any profession or niche. They apply not to the experience gained in a particular role but to core traits associated more closely with someone’s character than their career. These include teamwork, communication, and leadership.
Soft skills can’t be quantified or measured, but they become an integral part of your team’s ability to cooperate, work efficiently, and achieve fantastic results.
- Generative AI
Generative Artificial Intelligence (genAI) is set to revolutionise business productivity. Expert opinion remains mixed on the topic, with some predicting that through the creation of fake audio tapes and videos, generative AI technology could be used to spread disinformation in political campaigns.
In business, it’s important not to focus on the negative press surrounding artificial intelligence. When used transparently and in line with specific guidelines, genAI could be an essential tool for professionals across industries. Many organisations already use the technology for data science research, model building research, and to provide structural leadership strategies.
Like any cutting-edge technology, introducing genAI to your operations could come at a high price. Before investing in AI innovations, it’s worth evaluating your financial health. You can choose to conduct a review internally or seek confidential advice and accurate tax consultancy through finance professionals.
- Sustainable trading practices
Lastly, sustainability is still a loud conversation in any professional sphere. There’s more pressure than ever before for companies to receive B-Corp Certification, which indicates a thorough and unwavering commitment to responsible, ethical, and eco-friendly trading.
Of course, there are plenty of practices to adopt first if you’re starting from scratch or replacing outdated systems. Green strategies can take some time to implement permanently, but a few solid starting points could include:
- Encouraging remote work
- Installing renewable energy sources like air source heat pumps
- Saving water where possible
- Reducing waste and promoting recycling at physical locations
- Choosing green brands for office supplies
- Using low-energy or high-efficiency appliances
Furthermore, the contracts you sign will speak volumes to clients and business partners too. If you have new investments or supplier contracts in the pipeline, it’s important to consider any secondary environmental commitments – or impact. Working with high-profile companies is a direct reflection of your own stance, especially on climate issues.
There are plenty of new directions set to take the market by storm in 2024. Above all, you should try to focus on the trends that affect your niche the most. Work strategically and try to partner with forward-thinking stakeholders to help set ambitious yet achievable goals.