Hard to believe we’re already halfway through 2019! As we look forward to the third decade of the 21st century, it’s best to keep in mind how global trends are affecting change in the world of business. Some of these trends will create and modify entire industries, and others will influence us at a more personal level, but all of them will alter how businesses work. Here are my top future business trends to look forward to in 2020!
Right now, the price of a 3D printer makes it cost-prohibitive for most common households to have one, but that isn’t likely to last much longer. Desktop versions already are available for less than $200, and with the technology available to use them to make everything from prosthetic limbs to complete houses, it’s easy to see how a little investment can go a long way. A good, industrial 3D printer will still run you somewhere around £10,000, but the demand for high-quality and comparatively low-cost specialty goods like disability aids will have it paying for itself in no time.
It may not be legal everywhere in the world yet, but legalised cannabis is quickly spreading, with Illinois being the most recent member of the United States to legalize it just last week. As the wait for the rest of the world to legalise it continues, marijuana has become a booming industry in the areas that have, including several states in the USA, Canada, Uruguay, Peru, Spain, the Netherlands, and South Africa. In addition to weed farmers, the industry around paraphernalia–including bowls, bongs, and rolling papers–has seen a definite uptick, as well as edibles manufacturers, which run the gamut from corner store candy bars to luxury chocolates.
Every year, we grow closer to the cyberpunk future William Gibson promised us. 3D printing may be limited to non-organic materials at the moment, but we’re not far off from being able to make new organs from nothing but a machine. Future business trends may need to confront what it means to be human when we get there, but in the meantime, nanotechnology and medical innovation remain lucrative fields.
We’re in the age of mega-conglomerations. Umbrella corporations acquire new businesses under their purview every day. Disney made news just a few weeks ago for buying a majority share of Hulu from Comcast for a whopping $27.5B, giving it control of over a quarter of the television and film media produced in the United States. These companies are giants, but as they attempt to exert more control over their industries than their competitors, their growth requires brokers who know business law like the back of their hands and can cut a good deal. Business brokers receive a commission for every deal they seal, and when talking billions of dollars, those commissions add up—fast.
Change happens fast in the world of modern business, and corporations need the resources to keep up with it. Full-time staff can be costly, especially when considering the inclusion of benefits, office space, and equipment, so more and more businesses are turning to outsourcing agencies for the manpower they need to stay afloat. These same cost pressures will allow outsourcing agencies to be flexible in their pricing and scope of service.
Small businesses especially are likely to increase their utilisation of outsourcing agencies to reduce the stress of their operations and level the playing field between them and larger entities. The type of work being outsourced is also likely to change, with more high-level tasks going to contract workers than ever before. Independently outsourced employees are also becoming more and more popular, including offsite contractors and virtual assistants.
Other Future Business Trends to look out for