2021 predictions for ride-hailing businesses
Is it still even possible to plan ahead, have expectations, and forecast business development?
Turns out, yes. Many companies that traditionally forecast the future of the worlds' economy are still doing it. We’ve collected some predictions that seem realistic. Get yourself a warm drink, a bit of hope, and join Onde in looking into the future.
Will the economy recover?
The World Economic Outlook forecast is being very cautious with what they’re saying, and their report features a very gradual recovery of the worlds’ economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. WEO projects global growth in 2021 at 5.4 percent, noting that the harshest impact is on developing countries and low-income households.
Bottom line here is this: the global economy will recover, gradually. The particular pace of this recovery will differ for regions, countries, and social groups.
This is not an optimistic prediction. However, on a positive note, most ride-hailing businesses already aren’t dependent on low-income households.
Now we’re still very much in the crisis, people who belong to middle-class households are more likely to save money instead of spending it on occasional pleasures such as shopping or traveling extensively. For all social groups, the concern with health, hygiene, and well-being is expected to stay crucial.
We also shouldn’t forget that for middle-class households, occasional spendings on little everyday enjoyable things is an essential part of the identity. So cab rides and getting groceries delivered are there to stay — especially because they offer a “COVID-safe” way to go about daily business.
Is it a good time to start a new business?
According to the International Monetary Fund, many local economies will face “a multilayered crisis including a health shock, domestic economic disruptions, a serious decrease of external demand, and declining investment inflow.”
Well, this doesn’t sound like a dream moment to launch a startup, however innovative. But wait!
What this prognosis doesn’t count in is the growing need people all around the globe have in brands with a bigger social impact.
Let’s have a look!
- Unemployment rates grow. This means there are a lot of clever, hard-working people out there, ready to take up any job.
- People are tired of crisis and uncertainty. Solidarity and warm social acts help them to bear with the situation.
If your company’s launch is planned for 2021, keep those two points in mind. It is probably not the best time to make lots of money. But it is a very good time to find loyal employees and to promote your business as socially responsible. And believe us, this can be very helpful for your startup in the future.
When will the *#$%^ COVID-19 be over?
Nobody knows. Goldman Sachs expects “at least one effective COVID-19 vaccine to be widely distributed by the mid-2021.” Despite this institution being known for more overly-positive forecasts and expectations, we can stick with that, and hope restrictions will be lifted in course of 2021 in most countries.
This, however, doesn’t mean once all restrictions are lifted, “normal pre-COVID-19” life will immediately run on.
Many precautions are expected to stay with us for some time — for example, social distancing and extensive sanitizing. Not something we love, but definitely something to keep in mind when planning long-term operations.
Also, the social responsibility of companies is widely predicted to stay with us. Not only because of COVID-19 but also in connection with social justice movements and rapid global warming, brands are expected to develop meaningful social responsibility programs. In 2021, this is not going to be merely an option, but very much a must.
Several other predictions and trends for 2021
Working from home becoming new normal
If there’s anything people are positive about when it comes to the whole COVID-19 situation it’s working from home. Employees see the efficiency growing and that’s the main reason to resume working remotely after the crisis ends.
Of course, taxi drivers and delivery couriers can’t work from home. But think further than this. How will people commute (and why) when they’re working home? How will transportation change? These are the questions ride-hailing businesses better think about right now.
Flexibility is the queen
Probably the most important prediction of all was made by Nassim Taleb, back then when we’ve never heard of COVID-19. The notion of building companies that are flexible, resilient (antifragile, as Taleb puts it) is going to become more and more important.
Antifragility is not only about having a good business recovery plan (though it’s important too). It’s also about making sure your business can sustain by changing together with the situation. It’s about making sure you’ve got more than one revenue source. It is also about the power of communities and companies being an integral part of a community.
If we’ve learned something from 2020 it’s that social bonds are what keep us strong, as individuals but also as entrepreneurs. And that’s definitely something to take with us to 2021.