Praveen Kumar opens new premises following Business Gateway support
Michelle Shepherd,Business Gateway Tayside adviser

The environment is a key topic for 2020. The use of plastic packaging will continue to be a top consideration for businesses this year, as they look to reduce carbon footprints and meet the demands of younger consumers. There is potential for sales to take a hit if businesses are not seen to be doing their bit.

I suspect automation will be another key trend for 2020 as more businesses start to consider cost-effective ways of automating their operations. The impact of this is most likely to be felt in the healthcare or technology industries, particularly to help with repair or maintenance issues.

Another growing trend is an increased focus on employee wellbeing and flexible working. More businesses will start looking at alternative operating models, such as a four-day working week.

In terms of potential challenges, achieving growth is a common problem to businesses as day-to-day activities tend to take priority over innovation. In 2020, this could be exacerbated by Brexit, as managing this process will be the main focus for many businesses this year.

Having a designated project lead and setting achievable milestones will be fundamental to ensure innovative activities continue in 2020.

Businesses should always be considering new export markets as a logical step in achieving growth. India, China and America are likely to remain popular overseas targets in 2020.

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