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Rife with advancements in technology, new financial regulations and waves of thinking, the landscape of modern business is constantly evolving; pushing forward-planning to the forefront of driving success.

Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis, alternative finance provider, lists what he believes is the key business trends to look out for in 2018

This year has already seen the implementation of MiFID II and launch of Amazon’s first check-out less supermarket, but there are a number of other exciting developments still to come which small businesses can capitalise on.

Some of these trends are in the fledgling phase, while others have already started to take root. Which is why now is the perfect time to get informed, review your business and set it up for growth in 2018.

From our experience working closely with small UK businesses and industry experts, we’ve captured a few top trends which will help your small business hit the ground running this year.

From Millennials to Generation Z

Now in 2018, it’s time to really take note of the next wave of consumers – Generation Z. Born after 1998, this generation grew up with the Internet at their fingertips, available anywhere and everywhere at the touch of a button; so, naturally they are more orientated towards digital technologies.

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With growing demand for convenience, flexibility and overall speed of service, this creates a world of opportunity for small businesses who meet these needs and tailor their sales strategy accordingly.

Larger players such as Amazon are already capitalising on this, as seen with the pilot of its new Amazon Go supermarket, combining physical and online shopping experiences.

On a more accessible level, one way to better target Generation Z is by harnessing the power of social media and technology for your business. This boost in convenience and enforcement of your brand will ultimately drive customer loyalty at this vital time; and support your business in keeping up with this ever-changing trade environment.

Rise of new technologies such as AI driving the customer experience

The year 2017 saw a boom in machine learning, touching on the use of artificial intelligence (AI), including robotic process automation, speech recognition and virtual agents to support efficient business processes. Could 2018 be the breakthrough for AI, impacting the business world as we see it?