Executive insight: what to look out for in 2017

Want to know what small businesses should be on the lookout for in 2017? Our executive team has a few ideas.

We’ve tapped the opinion of those in our executive team to give us a run-down on what to expect in areas such as the economy, tech, HR and marketing.

Can we expect payment terms to finally come down? What did Pokémon Go teach us about the year ahead? How can you engage your employees?

Want to know? Read on…

Tim Reed, MYOB CEO:

There’s one thing that will happen which will be music to the ears of small businesses in Australia: the $20,000 instant asset write-off will be made permanent in the next federal budget.

It’s been extraordinarily popular with SMEs, and has allowed SME owners to invest in vital equipment to help them grow sooner rather than later.

I also predict the Reserve Bank of Australia will keep interest rates on hold for an entire year, good news for SMEs looking to borrow.

While there’s a lot going on right now in the global economy, I think it will adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach and think for a while before moving in either direction.

Alla Keogh, MYOB General Manager of People and Performance:

As everything becomes digital, it is increasingly important to design inspiring “human” experiences for our employees.

With consumer experiences becoming more personalised, our employees now expect high tech, tailored, consumer-like experiences in the workplace.

Feedback, learning, wellbeing, and career mobility will continue to be hot topics in the talent space.

We will continue the shift away from standardised policies and practices and move toward segmentation of our workforce to drive engagement and productivity.

James Scollay, GM of SME Solutions:

We know that cash flow has been a major pain-point for customers and SMEs in general, but towards the end of last year I saw something which will warm the heart of all SME owners.

Under pressure from government, industry bodies and big businesses, small businesses have started to receive payment for their work and products sooner rather than later.

It’s a positive trend, and I expect it to continue into this year. If it does, then SMEs may just have an easier time with cashflow than they did last year.

Nat Feehan, Executive GM of Group Marketing:

We will start seeing businesses move beyond digital strategy into customer strategy.

We know data gives us more insight into customers than ever before and not only will we be personalising marketing and experiences, we will be organising our businesses around the customer to maximise customer value and ensure a more meaningful and tailored approach to business.

Meanwhile, big businesses have been using marketing automation for years, using things like CRM software, behavioural marketing and web personalisation to get the biggest bang for their buck.

In 2017, the proliferation of tech tools means that smaller businesses will start to play with marketing automation to see how they can put their customer acquisition into overdrive.

Simon Raik-Allen, Chief Technical Advisor

If 2016 was the year augmented reality and virtual reality came out of their niches and into the public consciousness, 2017 will be the year they’re cemented as part of our lives.

Pokémon Go showed us that if done right, augmented reality apps can find a mass market – not just confined to early adopters anymore.

Look for virtual reality and augmented reality to be all the rage, and how business will try and harness the increased appreciation of the tech.

Have you got any predictions for the year ahead? Let us know by commenting below.