Small Business Trends for 2021 and Beyond
Small business trends of the future

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, or so every politician will tell you! And while it may seem that some small businesses and their habits haven’t changed since the country was founded, there are tons of ways that small businesses are moving forward each year.

2020 was a hard year for a lot of small businesses and 2021 brings a lot of hope for helpful trends, tips, and business strategies. So let’s go through some of the top small business trends to look forward to in 2021!

Focusing on user reviews

Big companies do it all the time: they generate and gain user reviews that help them strategize and turn their business to deliver what customers and clients want to see and buy.

For small businesses, it can be harder to generate those reviews. Many small businesses may not have the networks of online shopping or communication that larger companies can afford or the tools to sort and processes each of the user reviews.

By focusing on bringing that large company experience to smaller businesses, it becomes easier for each company to help direct better service and guidance to their everyday customers! Whether you run a small boutique or a downtown local accounting firm, being able to quantify and calculate those user reviews is crucial.

Mobile-first employee communication

If small businesses are the backbone of the economy, the employees in those businesses are the backbone of the backbone!

Millennials currently represent 50% of the workforce and are projected to reach up to 75% of the workforce by 2025. Nearly the entire generation is now mobile-driven whether it’s laptops, tablets, or cell phones.

To get better communication with employees and from employees, small businesses need to meet them where they’re at online. By shifting meetings, memos, and other inner-office communication to apps online, small businesses can engage their employees more effectively.

The bright side of switching communication over to apps is that most of them are free! Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on a new phone system or email program, logging on to a slack channel is cheap, quick, and effective.

Remote work is a booming business

In the wake of the 2020 pandemic, a sudden and necessary shift toward working remotely happened seemingly overnight. But the move toward remote work has been a long time coming!

More and more companies allow and encourage their employees to work remotely which offers several great benefits to small businesses. It allows your employees to work when it suits them the best and lets them connect with friends and family rather than be chained to a desk from 9-5 each day.

Working with communication apps to schedule video calls and meetings gives you the chance to connect and work together without the added expense of renting or buying a full-time office space. As a small business, it also puts you on sure footing as an employer who cares about their employee’s lives outside of the office and allowing them to live it freely!

Gig work is growing

Small businesses often have smaller numbers of employees and in a growing gig economy, you won’t have to worry about where your next hire will come from!

More and more, people are reaching a point where they want to be their boss and control their schedule. As a small business owner or manager, you can capitalize on the gig economy by hiring people to perform jobs or tasks as needed rather than having the huge expense of full-time employees on your payroll.

This also allows you to circulate through a larger number of employees until you find someone who fits your needs. If a gig employee isn’t working out, you can end the gig or job and move on to the next candidate.

Employee happiness matters

In many ways, they’re forgotten when it comes to boosting small or large businesses but employees and their happiness can have a huge impact on a company!

When small businesses take the time to care for their employees and ensure that they’re happy and healthy while working for them, the company will grow. Many employees choose to work with a smaller business or company because they have a more direct connection to the owners or managers who genuinely care for their happiness.

Business booms when employees feel free to come to their bosses with issues or grievances and are heard every time. If employees are happy, the business is happy.

E-commerce is booming!

We all know the world is moving increasingly online and for many small businesses, their livelihood is headed to the Net as well.

The internet connects the world and as e-commerce grows, many small brick and mortar stores are forgotten. By incorporating a robust online presence with a brick and mortar store, small businesses can continue to keep up their livelihood without interruption. They may even find they have a larger audience than they did with just the physical location!

Investing in an online store or quality website can keep your small business working and connecting with returning and potential customers from all around the world. A small-town boutique may find themselves shipping clothes all across the US by just updating their website and making themselves known!

Stories, stories, stories

No matter how old we are, everyone loves a good story. When it comes to your small business, engaging your followers and customers in a story rather than just information keeps them coming back for more.

Stories are often told on social media sites. These can be a huge boom for small businesses as they allow them to engage with a worldwide audience and have real-time customer interactions through likes, tweets, and posts.

Sharing your company’s story on social media gives you a leg up in a market that’s flooded with information. Telling your personal story humanizes the company and connects new and returning customers to you in a meaningful way.


In 2021, small businesses will most likely see overall trends increase toward having a more complete online presence with remote workers, social media, and a professional website or store design. Small businesses can also engage more closely with their employees and create a higher happiness index that helps boost their bottom line.

Small businesses took a hit in 2020 but by engaging with online trends, focusing on their employees, and taking advantage of remote work and gig employment, they can bounce back in 2021!

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