5 Small Business Trends for 2021


If 2020 was a year of disruption and transition for small businesses, 2021 will be a year of continued evolution. To help you prepare, we have looked around to see what business experts are saying. Here are five business trends and changes to look out for:

Remote work will be the new normal

Remote work can be challenging when it comes to collaboration and communication, but the majority of remote workers appreciate the flexibility working from home provides. Plus, remote work means fewer overhead costs. Without an office space to pay for, you could build up your business savings or reinvest money back into your business by upgrading your software or increasing your digital marketing.

Digitization will accelerate

Many businesses were forced to digitize their operations and services this year to accommodate customers, but the bar will even be higher in 2021. Not only do customers expect businesses to have a greater online presence in 2021, they also expect a seamless digital experience. That’s especially true for Millennials and Gen-Zers, the majority of whom prioritize convenience over brand.

To create a convenient experience for your customers in 2021, it’s crucial to operate with a digital-first mentality and provide options. Depending on your business and industry, you could:

  • Offer mobile ordering and contactless delivery
  • Build an ecommerce platform for your products
  • Expand in-person payment options to include digital wallets like Mobile Money
  • Create a mobile-friendly website
  • Add an online scheduling system to your business’ website (ex. Calendly)
  • Expand customer service assistance beyond phone calls

Empathy is the gold standard

After the stress and uncertainty of 2020, customers are looking for more than just quality products and services from businesses – they’re looking for compassion and empathy. Forging that connection means addressing your customers’ needs and fears. To do that, you may have to tailor your products or services, re-examine your customer service policies, or use a more compassionate voice in your marketing materials.

Financial focus will shift from growth to profitability

As businesses recover from revenue losses and budget cuts in 2020, many business owners will take a more conservative approach to their financials in 2021. Financial transformation projects like automating administrative tasks, consolidating software services, renegotiating supply and vendor contracts, or outsourcing tedious tasks can help reduce costs, and keep cashflow steady.

More consumers will prioritize shopping small

One major trend since the pandemic and leading into 2021 is the drive of consumers to support small businesses and local economic growth. Consumers are gradually recognizing their ability to grow their own local economies in cities and countries.

For business owners, capitalizing on this trend requires investing in local marketing and community growth whilst boosting your social media presence with local hashtags and campaigns.

Get prepared now

Regardless of how your business fared in 2020, it’s critical to begin preparing for 2021. To set yourself up for success, set aside time to evaluate what worked well—and what didn’t—about your business model, financials, and customer experience.

And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. If you need to free up your cash flow, consider a loan from Credit Locus. Applying is easy, and you can get a decision within minutes.