As a business broker, I help steer owners through the sale process. But, when a business isn’t up to date with the latest technology, it can complicate our plans.

I recommend that all business owners create an exit strategy three years in advance of putting their company on the market. Part of that process is grooming their workforce for the transition, organizing their records, and renewing their leases and contracts with vendors.

Another major part is making sure they have the technology and resources to stay competitive with other businesses. The further we get into the future the more aware owners need to be of changing trends.

2020 is sure to be a big year of change. Let’s take a look at some of the innovation trends reshaping the way we do business this year.

Mobile Commerce

Today almost everyone uses online shopping services. They love the convenience of mobile-friendly apps that allow them to avoid brick and mortar stores.

If you want to be able to compete with online options, you need to be prepared with mobile payment options at your business. Whether it’s purchasing a system that allows you to accept Apple Pay and Google Wallet or investing in a Square-system, put thought into the way mobile customers can make payments at your business.

Prescriptive Analytics

Based on the most recent estimates, we will double the volume of data in the digital universe every two years. While it used to take extensive record-keeping and updating to compile figures about a business, today many companies use machine data and learning to exponentially grow their data.

If you want your business to stay competitive, you need to be able to make the most of this data. If you break down the raw numbers, you can learn how to grow your business in the right direction.

If you aren’t familiar with prescriptive analytics, you should consider working with a firm that specializes in data insights. They can help you come up with models that will allow you to predict what’s ahead for your business and how to take advantage of the future.

That way, when it’s time to sell, you not only have information about where your business currently stands but also where it’s going.

Artificial Intelligence as a Service

For many years, artificial intelligence has been just out of reach for most business owners because of it’s hefty price tag. But recent advancements in AI technology allow companies to use machine-learning solutions and training materials to offer services to smaller businesses through subscription services.

As we head into 2020, we will see more of these services offered. AI may be used to set schedules, organize time off for your employees, automate your ordering process, and help with opening and closing procedures.

When to Invest in Business Technology in 2020

Although there are many great new gadgets and technologies coming to the market in 2020, you shouldn’t overinvest in new gear for your business.

Many of the best technological advances will be available through subscription services and apps and won’t require you to purchase new hardware. If you plan on selling your business in the next three years, it’s best to minimize the amount of equipment you have on your hands.

If you’re not sure about how a new purchase might impact the sale of your business in the long run, I’d be happy to offer my opinion. Give me a call today.