With the world slowly starting to recover, 2021 has become a year for rebuilding. While most small businesses have suffered, there are stirrings of optimism, with some even going so far as naming 2021 the year of the entrepreneur. Changed consumer habits, a 40% global rise in ecommerce, expanded available workforce and less competition may create the optimal climate for entrepreneurial-minded individuals to start something new – or hone an existing enterprise.
Here are some of the main trends that entrepreneurs should consider, as outlined by McKinsey in its ‘Next Normal’ insights:
- A consumer rebound: McKinsey believes that as people’s confidence is restored, spending will resume, with pent-up demand prompting unprecedented ‘revenge shopping’. It predicts the hospitality and entertainment sectors, especially, will see dramatic recovery. Entrepreneurs should consider ways to satisfy demand, while still helping people stay safe by following best-practice Covid-19 protocols.
- A leisure travel rebound: South Africa has already seen a rise in domestic travel. McKinsey anticipates a big rebound in the tourism space, especially as global vaccination efforts pay off. This is excellent news for local business ventures – particularly those in the hospitality sector.
- Disruption creates space: The same insights report cited the fact that disruption – from world wars to global economic crashes – always catalyses space for new waves of innovation. Chaos creates demand for new types of solutions to satisfy consumers’ shifting habits and behaviours. Right now, entrepreneurs have a real opportunity to devise businesses built around answering the collective challenges South Africans are experiencing.
- The embracing of ecommerce: Forbes suggests ecommerce has increased by almost 40% since the start of the pandemic. It floats the idea that consumers have never been as accessible to entrepreneurs as they are right now. This is because online consumption is at an all time high and adoption of online shopping has skyrocketed. Entrepreneurs who take their businesses online should be in prime position to reach their target audiences.
- More access to funds and people: It’s a sad truth that the pandemic has caused myriad small businesses to close. This means less competition for entrepreneurs. It also means an increase in the available workforce, and, potentially, more access to funding from investors.
- Going green: Finally, it’s become increasingly clear that consumers care about the ethics of what they consume. So, entrepreneurs that can find ways to ‘green’ their operations and embrace authentic sustainability as part of their business strategies may well win loyal fans.
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