New Year, New (SM)Me! 6 small-business trends to look out for in 2024

The new year is nearly here (can you believe it?!). Entrepreneurs have never needed to be more innovative and resilient. As one of SA’s go-to finance specialists, we’ve seen just how innovative and resilient successful South African SMMEs are. And we foresee our SMME clients embracing the following trends predicted for 2024:

Me, myself and OpenAI

Successful small businesses are not merely embracing digital transformation, they are thriving on it. From generative AI (like ChatGPT) to cloud-based accounting systems to advanced point-of-sale solutions, technology is becoming integral to business success. When you harness the power of automation, you can streamline your processes, reduce errors, and enable your business to focus on what matters most: growth. Those who embrace – rather than resist – tech tools will have (SM)Meteoric success in 2024!

The “next little thing that everybody can do is just really inform themselves on how they can ride the wave versus trying to stand up against the wave and kind of being smacked in the face by it … best practice is to figure out what it’s doing, figure out how it can help your business and start to ride the wave because it’s coming no matter what.

It makes no difference to SM(Me)

The shift to remote work has accelerated due to the events of the past few years, and its impact doesn’t show signs of dwindling. In 2024, entrepreneurs will continue to re-evaluate the need for physical office spaces, opting for flexible work arrangements that can significantly reduce overhead costs. The money saved on rent and utilities is being redirected towards technology infrastructure, digital marketing and other investments that contribute to long-term financial stability.

Take it from (m)e-commerce

E-commerce dominance will continue in 2024. Small businesses are already leveraging online platforms to reach a broader audience and diversify their revenue streams. This includes social media, where businesses are finding success not only in traditional marketplaces but also on different social platforms and in niche online marketplaces. If you’re able to adapt to changing consumer preferences and deliver seamless online experiences, 2024 may just be your business’s year!

Remember, e-commerce isn’t strictly for online retail items like high-end perfumes. Making your customer’s online experience friction-free is the focus – whether that’s navigating your website, setting up an appointment or paying for a service.

E-commerce isn’t the cherry on the cake, it’s the new cake.

Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and former CEO of L’Oreal

Free market? More like SM(Me) market!

Financial technology (fintech) is revolutionising how small businesses manage their finances. Mobile banking, digital wallets, and online lending platforms are empowering entrepreneurs with real-time financial insights and convenient access to capital. The result? The playing field is wide open for small businesses.

Entrepreneurs who choose effective fintech solutions – and use them! – will continue to do well in 2024.

Byte me

Not only is fintech a must-have for businesses in 2024, cryptocurrency will be trending like never before. The world over, small businesses are embracing the entire crypto movement, nevermind just Bitcoin. (PS If crypto sounds scary to you, keep in mind that Paypal is a handy stepping stone.) 

“I think bitcoin is on the verge of getting broad acceptance by conventional finance people.”– Elon Musk

An endangered little bird told this SM(Me)

Consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental impact, and small businesses are taking note. In 2024, sustainable business practices are not just a moral choice but a financial imperative. From reducing waste to adopting eco-friendly packaging, businesses are aligning their values with consumer expectations.

Feel inspired? We hope so! But, until it’s time for “New Year, New Me”, to our small business clients: Eat, drink and SM(Me) merry! Exciting things lay ahead of you.

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