New Year New Opportunities

by BTM

Wed, 06 December 2023

New Year New Opportunities

A New Year brings with it opportunities for a reset, growth and learning. Business expert, Pria Masson, delves into the key trends she expects to see leading the business industry in 2024.

I  was binge watching Downton Abbey a few days ago and Mrs. Crawley was “amused” at how each year, we toast at midnight no matter what is coming our way. To which, Old Lady Grantham says: “What choice do we have?” Indeed, looking forward is the only reasonable thing to do in December. Looking back may teach us, but looking ahead tells us where to go despite the lessons. So, this month, based on what I am currently reading, I talk about the four key trends that I think the world of business will experience in 2024. 

Operational ‘steps’ may turn into robust businesses. 
Find a problem, ease a process, or create a new product. These are the basic reasons to start a business. In a very connected world, finding a problem with a viable solution is less predictable than easing a process. This is where I think there will be increasing participation and innovation. For example, we needed digital payments, so payment platforms emerged. These need systems and processes in addition to infrastructure and so Payments-as-a-Service (PaaS) have emerged. Look at any industry, ordering food, delivering goods, making bookings, finding information – so many businesses are subsets of larger processes – a group that will inevitably grow. 

Tech is a part of business, but will be driven by experience. 
While listening to a podcast, the person speaking said he finds entrepreneurs who are in the age group of 38 to 50 the most interesting. His rationale fascinated me. He said that technology is an enabler, but it is experience that teaches us what the problems or ‘itches’ are to which we need a solution. That, to my mind, is the future. Where experience will drive technology offshoots of traditional ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. Take the latest phrase that is seen everywhere – generative AI. It is very simply, the ability of a machine to learn and create. However, the experience on what to create, what sort of experience needs it and what to do with all that data, those are likely to be the business ideas of the future. 

Climate and sustainability will become must-haves
Global warming is real. Finding ways to slow it down is very real and it is also all pervasive. The problem is so large and the micro problems almost infinite. It appears climate technology, climate systems and anything related to tracking, controlling, measuring or fixing the issues, would be a business idea ready to grow. Sustainability is the cousin of climate in that it is anything that has a lower carbon footprint compared to an alternate system. ‘Climate-as-a-Service’ could just be the phrase of 2024. 

Soft skills and creativity will turn more lucrative. 
Fundamental economics says that a scarce good or service will command a higher price. With technology easing out so many processes and systems, the biggest scarcity is likely to be the ability to stand out. Creativity, how we make people feel and how we understand human beings could be the game changing theme. Ideas like emotional intelligence, communication, solving problems with others and incorporating these into the business experience, these will set companies and people apart. 

So much is going on around us that it feels like nothing can be controlled. You can, however, control your readiness for the future. So, upskill, re-skill or just simply learn a whole new skill to fill the gaps that will inevitably be created with rapid changes in technology and business. To quote (almost) one of my favorite books: “Your job is not to think of the wall to be built, yours is to think of the next brick to be added.” The future is uncertain, but read between the lines, assess what could be needed, then pick up your brick and start cementing it in. 

Pria is the Founder of GMI Advisory WLL– a Management Consultancy that helps companies with idea assessments, feasibility studies, strategy, business plans, presentations and preparing for investors . You can visit her company website to connect with her.  You can follow Pria at her Instagram handle @guide_my_idea