Some predictions about the trends and business outlook for 2019 are difficult to make with a high degree of certainty. Recent volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about how lawmakers intend to govern with a divided Congress makes some leading business analysts very nervous. Our South Carolina business and corporate lawyers discuss five business predictions that appear to be safe calculations of the business outlook for 2019.
#1 – China Trade War Intensifies
2018 saw U.S. relations with China take a turn for the ugly when the President took a strong approach to reduce the bilateral trade deficit with China. After the administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, China retaliated by imposing their own tariffs on hundreds of billions on U.S. goods and creating a less-than-favorable business environment for U.S. companies in China. For U.S. companies doing business with China, it may be worthwhile to investigate alternative channels.
#2 – Bitcoin Dominates Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrencies dominated headlines in 2018 as we watched the bubble expand and burst, to the chagrin of all cryptocurrency enthusiasts. As with any emerging technology, there are sure to be growing pains, and cryptocurrencies are no exception. This year though, after the proliferation of altcoins, we should see Bitcoin slowly consolidate and stabilize the cryptocurrency market. Recognizing that cryptocurrency will need a lot of help improving its image, Bitcoin has created Blockchain Association, in an attempt to lobby international financial systems in 2019.
#3 – Flatter Business Organizations
While an economic recession is not predicted, the economy is likely to slow in 2019. Proactive businesses will move to a flatter organizational model to reduce costs. The focus will be on team-centric operating models. Therefore, you may see companies with little to no middle management. Staff will work directly with executives in the decision-making process.
By utilizing well-trained staff members instead of closely supervised workers, companies can greatly reduce overhead by cutting out middle management. Executives will be more involved in the daily operations of the company, thereby giving them a better understanding of the needs of the company and ways to reduce costs. Employees will be more invested in their jobs and feel a greater sense of satisfaction because of their newly discovered autonomy, responsibility, and respect.
#4 – AI Replaces Personnel
Companies learned that using AI may not have been the best way to reach customers. Impersonal marketing approaches and customer service did not impress customers who desire personalized attention. The need to connect with a person and have that person express concern and a genuine desire to make the customer experience better was a strong factor in customer loyalty and satisfaction.
However, companies have not given up on AI yet. The use of AI will expand into other areas where personalized service is not necessary to keep customers happy. The workforce may see AI replace personnel in key areas that are not driven by customer need and satisfaction.
#5 – Cybersecurity Attacks Increase
Cybersecurity attacks have been on the rise and will continue to increase during 2019. Major corporate systems were victims of cyber hacks in 2018. Cybercriminals will likely continue to breach corporate cybersecurity measures to access valuable personal data stored on corporate servers. The trend to attack social network platforms to steal user data is also likely to continue into 2019 and beyond.
AI is likely to play a major role in cybersecurity in 2019. However, hackers will discover new ways to exploit AI systems as companies begin using AI to counter attacks. The need for privacy policies and protection of customer data will continue to be a major concern for businesses, government, and individuals.
South Carolina Business And Corporate Lawyers
Predicting business trends for the upcoming year is never easy. However, by reviewing your organization plan and business goals for 2019, you can take proactive steps to make effective and profitable changes to embrace business trends that benefit your company. Contact our South Carolina business compliance lawyers at Willcox, Buyck & Williams, P.A. Our South Carolina business and corporate lawyers can help you develop a business plan that will work best for your company now and in the future.