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Small Business Trends for 2021 and Beyond

The only constant at the moment is changing, and this state of flux has and is expected to affect business around the world. There are, however, some things that can be expected and used to strengthen business planning.

Below are some trending business developments to keep an eye on in the next 12-24 months. Being in the know in this regard will allow your business to ride the waves of change and perhaps be in a position to take advantage of the constant flux that is life as we now know it.

Business Technology

One of the main changes that will happen in the coming year and more will be the continuing changes in the technology that is available for businesses. From manufacturing techniques, 3 D printing to budgeting apps, and more, change is afoot.

Current technology has seen a phenomenal growth, and this is expected to continue into the long term. It will pay to be informed about the latest software available in your sector or industry and ensure that you have the infrastructure and hardware to make the most of these changes.

The main ones to look out for are Cloud computing, Remote working solutions, the internet of things, and new ecommerce platforms. These are all aspects of tech development that will affect how you do business or whether you are left behind your competitors or not.


The managed service has become a major component of modern business strategy. Using Software as a service, outsourcing HR functions or using professionals of any field to run specific business functions is the way forward. There are savings to be made and opportunities to be realized. There is a marked emphasis in business today on building networks, and stakeholders have become as important as shareholders. This has influenced how outsourcing has changed and grown. The new relationships to look out for in this regard are:

Amalgamated managed services: Outsourcing several firms to work together on a project.

Purchasing networks: One or more firms come together to secure outsourced services for all the firms or across a supply chain.

Both of these new ways of looking at the outsourcing relationships for the enterprise can be serious money savers.

Green Business is a Blue Ocean

There are numerous ways to ensure that your business practices are increasingly greener. A business ethos that includes people, planet, and profit is the only way your business is likely to access the opportunities that exist in the green economy. In the US, the green economy is now worth over $1.3 trillion and employs a growing number of people; the opportunities in the future for new entrants and new businesses is immense.

It is a sector still regarded as a blue ocean of endless opportunity, but it is also one where you need to act quickly to secure and develop opportunities and solutions that will yield a return for any investment.

Social Enterprise

Using business methodologies and technological developments to solve social issues is the driving principle in this ‘new’ form of capitalism. Solving global issues of access to technology, water purification, and youth training and education proves to be sure fire way to access new and interesting markets and keep the business as profitable as possible.

This is a form of business that is on the rise and should not be seen as the charity and non-profits of the past. These can be multinational businesses that turn huge profits and yet use these to drive and implement social change. This is predicted to be one of the most significant changes to the way we do business in the coming years than anything else.

It is a changed mindset, where typically, capitalist business principles are used to drive and sustain social change. Social enterprises have been a growing sector in the US, and now with companies like Greyston and Grameen Bank, their successes and incredibly strong networks are now available for all to see, and many others are jumping on this bandwagon. Social enterprise and social entrepreneurship are a sector and business theme to watch.


Longevity is always trending; how long a business has is a serious issue, and with most new businesses only lasting a year or less, sustainability is a pressing business theme. Numerous business opportunities have arisen around this theme and will continue to do so.

Making climate commitments and adjustments to energy usage is at the forefront of this particular business theme and is proving to be a great business for entrepreneurs, inventors, and an array of related small businesses. From recycling to reusing, product life cycles are changing, and instead of a cradle to grave approach, the idea is now to look for and design products that have a cradle-to-cradle existence.

The end of one product or service could be the start of another, using the same resources as the basis for such development.


As one of the largest industries in the world, cybersecurity is a business all on its own. The opportunities and developments are immense and ongoing; however, the main themes for business in the next period have been improvements in cybersecurity protection.

Based on the level of cyber-crime in the country, your business must be protected. This protection is changing and becoming ever more complicated. There are various levels of protection, from your local server to the data center and the Cloud spaces in between; once on the network, your company data and information needs to be secure and protected.

This is a business theme that you need to take seriously because everything you do online presents as a business risk unless you have cyber protection. It’s worth having a professional service assess your business and ensure that you have the right protection at every level.

Anyone thinking of starting a business in the current climate needs to be prepared for tough times. One of the best ways to ensure a smoother ride is to have done your research and to know what is trending, what’s hot, and what’s not. This article provides food for thought in this regard and the basis for further work to define the exact opportunity for your specific context, market, and available resources.


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