What trends will shape the future of small business?

- August 21, 2019 2 MIN READ

Futurists Tommy McCubbin and Steve Sammertino delivered the initial findings from MYOB’s soon to be released Radar Report into the trends shaping the future of small business at Partner Connect today.

In an invigorating session that included many a gif and pop culture reference, the duo predicted a world where the driverless car is set to redefine the world as we know it and automation, robotics and 3D printing will change the landscape of manufacturing and retail.

In an often, light-hearted presentation, Sammertino regaled the audience of accountants, bookkeepers and assembled media with his version of the future.

The futurist suggested the driverless car would deliver big and small opportunities for those prepared to jump on board. Drawing an analogy from Henry Ford’s Model T  and how it had reinvented the world as we know it by delivering an environment where highways and shopping malls and traffic jams co-existed; Sammertino drew a fairly long bow to explore how driverless vehicles would similarly shape the future.

“Cars didn’t change that much in the last 100 years. We got rid of the horse from the cart – dropped in a motor – and now it drops pollution instead of manure,” he quipped. “But driverless cars are the start of the revolution.”

Sammertino predicted in ten years we would all be driving electric vehicles and suggested the operating costs for transport would decrease. He also suggested when autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous, a wealth of opportunities will open up for business owners.

“Think rolling retail. Cars selling sneakers, food, rolling lounges and offices… How will driving and parking and distribution change?”

With Melbourne one of the first cities approved to have drones licenced as people carriers. Sammertino also wondered about the impact of flying cars on the future.

Meanwhile, McCubbin suggested technology innovation is certain to deliver massive growth opportunities for retailers.

“When you combine brick and mortar with online – when offline and online start talking to each other there is fantastic opportunity.”

McCubbin also highlighted the rise in experience stores – describing them as “brand museums, where you just happen to buy stuff”.

He urged retailers to look for inspiration everywhere.

“Focus on getting good customer data. Look at your super fans, your moderate fans and those that couldn’t care less and get a different experience for each one. Most of all, understand your brand narrative and stay true to it.”

MYOB Radar: Trends Shaping Your Future Volume 3 will be released in September.

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