The previous year, 2018, has been full of turnarounds and start-up stories in India. The start-up ecosystem has established and gained importance. The year saw a rise in the number of start-ups. In a nutshell, 2018 had been a good year for start-ups in India. While the previous year has given many opportunities to the new businesses, 2019 has pondered upon several new business trends. It has taught ways of planning and strategizing business functions. Now, halfway around the year, let’s take a look at the business trends 2019 that will continue to rise in 2020 as well.

Offline to complement Online Retail

The previous year witnessed a rise in eCommerce companies experimenting with retail stores for offline selling. They also set up various experience zones as well. In the current year, there is a trend for retailers to provide their customers a larger than before offline experience. With the brick-and-mortar stores, the customers will be able to try and experience products, and they can also have a word with a salesperson. Then, if they like, they can order the product online. So, there is a trend for opening physical stores to get closer to the customers, which will continue to rise in 2020 as well.

Marketing

The businesses are becoming more customer-centric. Consequently, marketing has also become more personalized. So, marketers are coming up with novel and unique ways of attracting and engaging the customers/audiences. They are customizing the campaigns to target different and specific groups. The marketers specifically are trying to think of ways to create personalized product experience for the customers in order to deliver more value. That said, influencer marketing will become common in coming time, and testimonials or customer reviews would be of significant value for a business.

Business to focus on Employee Happiness

Good talent is hard to find. Therefore, companies are more focused on reducing the attribution rate. It is one of the reasons why companies have started showing empathy and flexibility to their employees. Employee satisfaction is not only limited to hefty salary packages but is more about the work environment. It means keeping them happy by fulfilling their career aspirations, allowing them to apply their knowledge, and supporting growth. It is an ongoing business trend 2019 and would surely continue to rise in the coming years as well. Notably, the businesses are also providing in-house training and skills development programs to nurture their employees.

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Business Collaboration & Integration

2019 has seen a rise in business collaboration and integration. For instance, there has been a trend of banks collaborating with FinTech companies. In fact, banks and financial institutions are working with insurance companies, sharing their data and APIs to provide better customer experience. Going ahead, competitors will collaborate and even sell each other’s product to gain mutual benefits.

The business owners can look around for businesses with whom they share common markets and have a common customer profile. They can think of complementing each other for mutual benefit. For instance, if a business is not good in some department, he can partner with other business with those strengths. It will provide him with some extra time to focus on the core business.

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Online Lending to Get Simpler

Business owners are generally cautious about approaching lending institutions for availing a business loan, as they feel the process is tiring and involve a lot of paperwork. It is also a challenge for the small business owners to avail a bank loan. There’s a new wave of availing NBFC business loans; these services have gain importance in recent years. An NBFC offers these loans; they sanction loans within a few days with minimum effort from the borrower.

A borrower with bad credit can also apply for an NBFC business loan since the NBFCs are not entirely dependent on the CIBIL score. They evaluate the creditworthiness of the borrower holistically. These lending services, in recent years, have got simpler and personalised. Additionally, they are backed by powerful technology systems that decrease the TAT (turnaround time) and opex (operating cost). One can use the services effortlessly from the smartphone.

Digitisation of Paperwork

With several mobile applications emerging every day, most organisations are trying to cater their customers the yet unexplored area of the services with different systems and software. One such is the digitisation of paperwork. The days of piling-up documents containing important client data and disorganised files would come to an end in just a few years. Many solutions are coming to provide perfect assistance required for meticulously organizing and managing office data – from client and employee data to important meeting data. If these solutions in terms of software and Apps deliver what’s promised, work-life will become easier for the business owners with dedicated solutions.

Traditional Lenders to enter Online Lending System

Witnessing the success of the Non-banking Financial companies in the online lending system, traditional lenders, too, are entering online space. The traditional lenders are thinking to partner with FinTech companies for their technology innovation. Initially, banks invested in P2P lending to get access to their customer base. Now, they are trying to invest in state-of-the-art analytics technologies to check the borrower’s credit history conveniently. All this means that a small business owner will have more options for small business loans.

Payment Services Companies to Evolve more

Tracking bank account payments has never been easy for business owners. And this is the reason why a few tech-savvy companies have emerged. They operate in the cloud and have also developed software which simplifies the visibility of the payments to the merchants. They also offer several options to the business owners, such as payment options that can be conveniently shared via an SMS or WhatsApp message. These companies also support traditional payments methods, like net banking, credit cards, NEFT/RTGS, etc. The companies have evolved to become one-stop-solution for businessmen.

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