Fast developing advances in technology, a new generation entering the workforce, the rise of the gig economy, and legal issues, among others, create opportunities that can help startups become more competitive if they understand how to leverage them. Other aspects like taxes and expenses that Anastasia Gazarek touched on before, are another thing that startups need to keep in mind to avoid problems come tax season. On that note, to stay ahead of the competition here are five things you need to know for 2020.


The Rising Gig Economy

Hiring remote and freelance workers opens up a global talent pool for companies looking for specialized skills. This is why in the last few years this trend has been growing in Canada. In fact, over 40% of Canada’s millennials have been part of the gig economy in the last five years, due to the flexibility and autonomy it affords. Tapping into this growing trend, startups can reduce overhead costs and eliminate the need for fixed salaries and benefits packages, while also reducing internal resources and other financial obligations that come with full-time staff.


Technology & Automation

Technology and automation are playing a much larger role in business these days, and websites, social media and e-commerce can give startups and SMBs a greater market reach to increase their ability to target more customers. A Google and KPMG joint report noted how digitally engaged SMBs have nearly twice the revenue growth trajectory compared to offline companies. New and disruptive technologies using AI, like chatbots and business analytics, are streamlining business processes and enabling better efficiency.


Becoming More Effective

An office environment creates an energy and mindset that can only come from interacting with fellow workers. According to a study featured on Office Vibe, a coworking office environment made 64% of entrepreneurs more productive, 68% of entrepreneurs more focused, and 90% of entrepreneurs more confident. In a coworking space, where everyone is busy on their own passion projects, this buzz will drive you on to make your own business a success.


Legal Advice

Finding the right lawyers that understand your startup is no easy task. Founders have a lot on their plate and will have to start thinking of their legal needs once they’re ready to accept a check from investors. TechCrunch explains that the lawyers who work with startups are a special breed and are essential to the startup process. Crucially, they will be able to guide a startup through the difficult setup period and help avoid any costly legal obstacles. It’s also important to view the law firm you’ll be working with as your partners. So, when it comes to partnering with the right legal talent, Special Counsel stresses the importance of finding attorney recruiters with knowledge and well-established relationships in your industry. Look for a firm that represents other companies in your field and understands your goals as a business. Remember it’s important that you find an experienced team in 2020 that’s comfortable working with startups and their ambiguities.


Culture Awareness

When it comes to making businesses thrive it’s all about the people. Building a diverse team, and bringing out the best in each employee will create an environment and work culture that will help retain the best talent. Particularly with the low unemployment rates these days, startups are struggling to hire the best people. One of the best ways to find and retain talent is to hire a diverse workforce and invest in the team’s growth. This also means building a positive culture that builds on the skills and talents of each employee, offering a flexible work environment, and providing performance-based compensation like profit sharing.


Business Intelligence

While there are a host of issues that affect the success of a startup, one area that is increasingly important is business intelligence (BI), as sifting through company data is crucial to the success of startups. However, a poll quoted by Entrepreneur found that 56% of SMBs do not check their data. BI offers insights into certain business trends that may reveal inefficiencies and high operating costs. By letting a BI tool do the hard work of filtering through all the data for your startup, it will help you operate more efficiently so that nothing is missed.