The survey includes opinions of 600 businesses
47% of UK businesses said taking on new staff is their key ambition in the medium-term, according to Lloyds Bank.
Companies also highlighted developing new products and services (36%) and increasing online sales (30%) as major ambitions and priorities.
The survey found that 20% of businesses expect online purchasing and demand for instant products and services (18%) to be the biggest changes in consumer behaviour in the next 20 years. That’s forcing them to be more creative and innovative in order to adapt to deliver quickly.
These predictions mirror the factors which businesses cited as having had the biggest impact on their operations in the past 20 years – chiefly greater access to information (24%) and more online purchasing (22%) changing customer behaviour.
However, firms are optimistic about further changes to consumer behaviour, with 38% reporting that advances in technology have had the biggest positive impact on their business in the past 20 years.
Despite a clear drive towards growth, a net balance of 83% of firms anticipate the next 20 years will be more challenging than the past two decades – which included the financial crisis and resulting credit crunch, recession, the Brexit referendum and the global pandemic.
Some of the challenges that businesses see themselves facing can be linked back to the pandemic, including rising costs (23%) and the ability to recruit staff (11%). In addition, one in ten businesses see the need to keep up with technological developments as their biggest challenge in the next two to three years.
We’ve reported that China and Singapore have bolstered their financial cooperation.