If you are into business or entrepreneurship, you must stay updated with trends. Any startup or business does not operate in a vacuum. Trends help you understand the operating environment. Be it you are starting out, scaling, or pivoting; it can all be informed by trends. In 2022 some trends characterised the business universe. In 2023 there will be trends you will have to take note of. The good thing is most of them are already at play. That is why today we are discussing business trends to look out for in 2023.

Global Remote Work Will Continue To Proliferate

Ever since 2020, the remote working trend has started growing faster and more expansive. At first, it was mainly within the confines of national borders. Over time this has been gradually changing. More and more employers have been opening their arms to remote workers from anywhere in the world. Currently, there are local Zimbabweans remotely working for foreign companies. Most employers who have adopted remote workers report the efficient and timely discharge of duties.

There are also substantial reductions in operating costs when working with remote workers. Plus, you get to hire top talent from anywhere without geographical limitations. We are going to see more global remote work in 2023. This is also closely tied to an increase in hybrid work as well. This entails the blending of onsite and online work. Businesses in Zimbabwe need to take time to explore these domains. It is high time they tap into the global remote workforce.

The other dynamic is that many skilled professionals no longer want to work onsite. This is due to the rigidity that onsite working comes with. This means if you are a business that does not allow remote working, you might miss out on skilled professionals. You can even lose current employees who would jump at an offer of remote or hybrid working elsewhere. Zimbabwean businesses need to wake up to this as soon as possible. You must move with the times.

Growing Importance Of Environmental Social Governance (ESG)

In 2022 I brought the concept of ESG to your attention. The importance of environmental awareness continues to grow worldwide. As a business, you need to appreciate that more and more people are becoming environmentally conscious. This means they now want to do things and only associate with businesses that care about the environment. If, as a business, you are not big on this, they will migrate to businesses that are. Thus disregarding ESG can hurt your revenue, primarily if you mainly serve middle to high-income earners. This is also particularly so if you intend to serve global markets, e.g. export.

The other implication is access to funding and other support facilities. More and more potential investors and financers are factoring in your efforts towards ESG when assessing your eligibility. It is also important to note that ESG is fast being enforced as a law in many places. This trend is steadily taking root in Zimbabwe, so you must prepare your business correctly. Your business must take its carbon footprint, waste management, water usage, and other environmental aspects seriously.

The Menaces Of Hyperinflation In 2023

Hyperinflation has been an issue in Zimbabwe for years. In 2022, we did witness its effects in many ways. You can tell just by looking at the exchange rates, especially the parallel ones. Tell a story about where the rates were in January 2022 and where they ended up in December 2022. In 2023, the forecast inflation-wise is bleak, not just for Zimbabwe but also globally. A business can do many possible things to cushion itself from inflation. Whatever business you run in 2023, you need to fortify it against inflation. It is wise to start doing that now.

One of the areas you must start assessing and fortifying is your supply chain framework. If you are not careful, inflation can affect your supply chain and hurt your bottom line. Start exploring ways you can adopt to reduce or eliminate the risk of hyperinflation messing up your supply chain. For example, you can consider sourcing locally instead of importing raw materials. You could even consider making your own raw materials. There is so much you can do, but it is pertinent that you start now.

Customers Increasingly Want Immersive Experiences

Customer experience is one aspect we did talk about a lot in 2022. In 2023 you must pay more attention to the customer experiences you provide. You will most likely lose customers if your customer experiences are poor or average. This is because, more than ever before, customers will consider customer experience more than anything. Even with good products and prices, customers will look elsewhere if you are not delivering outstanding customer experiences. This is particularly important in Zimbabwe, where the business space is now highly competitive.

It is now the norm that a customer can have over 10 options of businesses he or she can consider when looking to buy something.

We have discussed the subject of poor customer service in Zimbabwe before. It is still a topical issue in Zimbabwe. This means providing immersive customer experiences can differentiate your business. Your thrust should be to ease a customer’s life in every aspect of their interaction with your business. Technology should undoubtedly be a massive part of building that immersive customer experience. Do not take this lightly because, in other countries, they are miles ahead already. In some countries, you can now find a management position titled Chief Experience Officer (CXO). That is how serious this trend is; do not be left behind.

These are some of the significant business trends to consider in 2023 in Zimbabwe. As a Zimbabwean business, start adopting global remote working frameworks. Start aligning your business with ESG in mind. Streamline your supply chain and build superior immersive customer experiences.