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Business Trends for 2017

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jan 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

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Today, business owners are trying to figure out what changes may be in store for 2017 and how those changes may potentially impact their company. A recent article from Forbes examines the top trends shaping business in the coming year, which could have an influence on everyone from sole proprietors, to small businesses, to global corporations.

The Top Trends Shaping Business for 2017,” identifies ideas, movements, business shifts, and how each may affect businesses and business owners. This includes geopolitical disruptions, global intersectionality, transparency, and sustainability. The article also identifies other trends that you may want to consider going forward into the new year.

One example of a major trend that continues to grow is the use of on-demand work. According to the article, in the past 5 years, the number of independent workers in the U.S. has increased by 12%. Due to advances in technology, even traditional employees are being given more autonomy and allowed to work remotely to the benefit of both the employees and businesses.

On-demand work, remote work, and increased employee autonomy can be a benefit to both workers and businesses in multiple ways. One the employee side, individuals can take on additional work to supplement their income, have the increased flexibility of being able to work when and where they want, and may be able to sustain a better work-life balance. From the businesses' perspective, hiring individuals for specific tasks allows the company to find a qualified individual without having to find other tasks for them to do after the project is over. It may also allow a business to save money on health and pension benefits that are provided to full-time employees.

Privacy and security have been an increasingly important topic for all companies. This includes security in financial transactions, company records, financial data, customer privacy, and R&D secrecy. Some companies may not consider privacy or security a primary issue due to the company's small size. However, any business could become a target for hackers.

Cybersecurity breaches are a big concern for companies like Yahoo or Target, each of whom has been victim of large-scale hacking recently that stole users' information or credit card numbers. Increasingly, companies are being hacked without realizing it for days, weeks, or years. This not only risks the public's perception of the company, it may also open up the company to liability and class action lawsuits.

While cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, a number of significant security breaches have involved employees unknowingly giving their passwords to hackers through phony emails or phone calls. This approach has been a standard practice for hackers breaking into individual computers, company networks, and even government agencies. However, these types of threats can be significantly minimized through training and reinforcing company security policies.

If you have any questions about regulatory changes or how new trends may shape your business in the coming year, contact Butterfield Schechter LLP. We will advise you on how these changes can impact your company's ability to find and retain qualified workers, protect company and customer information, and how these changes may affect your tax liability. Contact our office today with any questions on how we can help you and your business succeed.

About the Author

Paul D. Woodard

Paul Woodard practices in the areas of Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Pension and Profit Sharing Plans, ERISA, ERISA Litigation, Business Law, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), and Estate Planning.

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