2018 was a tough year for many small business owners, and unfortunately, this trend is one likely to continue in 2019. However, there are ways that you can unlock your organisation’s growth and revenue potential, largely through improving operational and managerial efficiencies.

1. Tech Will Dominate Customer Service

Companies are beginning to make larger investments in delivering high-quality customer service via automated technology and chat applications. A clear indicator of this trend is how the iGambling and iBetting sector has handled it, making live chat an almost universally available option at sites that offer online Blackjack, internet Roulette, sports betting, and the like.

Doing this gives customers a far more individual experience since they are in charge of the interaction and are able to ask questions that bring them closer to what they want and need.

2. Sharing Economy Solutions to Grow

As a small business owner, you should be asking if your company would be better off if your customers could rent or subscribe to your products rather than just making a once-off purchase.

3. AI Will Take Centre-Stage

Predictions indicate that companies are going to keep using Artificial Intelligence in wide-ranging apps in 2019. As the mainstream begins joining the early adopters, AI may well find a home in almost any industry. As a small business owner, are you able to start leveraging low-cost AI and machine learning as a part of your organisation’s services or products?

AI can optimise routine labour and many other processes that businesses rely on to run optimally. Despite prophets of doom bellowing about how the robots are going to kill us all, experts predict that, on the whole, AI looks likely to support rather than replace human employees. It will allow us to function at higher levels, getting more done more quickly.

4. A Focus on Wellness at Work

Small business owners are going to need to focus on how they’re promoting their staff members’ wellbeing in the workplace in 2019. Since they’re so reliant on each worker performing at their best, entrepreneurs should be looking at the effects of work absences due to stress, generally low morale, and even mental illness by finding and implementing ways to nurture their workforce.

Flexible hours, which allows employees to have more of a say over when and where they’re doing their jobs, in becoming very popular in small business working arrangements. Employees are striving for a better work/life balance, and you’ll need to cater for this demand in order to hire, and retain, the best talent for your company.

5. More Sustainable Practices

The implementation of sustainable practices is becoming a critical component to long-term success, and small businesses will no longer be able to afford to neglect this in 2019. And nor should they!

Incorporating sustainability is good business, with studies showing that organisations who showed business leadership on climate change made more profit than those who did not.

Millennials particularly are more likely to purchase from companies promoting green initiatives, since they see the actions of businesses as a crucial part in combatting issues like climate change and other problems facing the world today.