What will the future of small business hold for countless entrepreneurs and local innovators around the globe? It’s hard to say precisely, but one thing’s certain in a world of growing uncertainty: We’ll see more technology and more ingenuity come into play with increasing frequency going forward. That said, a number of changes in the marketplace and customer expectations are remaking the future of small business as we speak. What say we take a quick look at them?

For starters, digital transformation is a major trend to keep in mind here, as it can help streamline business processes, reach new customers, and increase productivity. More and more owners and operators are introducing custom apps and adopting digital tools and platforms to improve their operations. Likewise, a host of pay as you go and online services and solutions (including drag-and-drop website builders, plug and play service technologies, etc.) are also helping improve efficiency and productivity, leading to more successful and profitable companies.

Naturally, e-commerce will play a huge role in shaping the future of small business, allowing firms to reach a larger audience and sell products and services online. Given that the field is skyrocketing in popularity and poised for explosive growth, you’ll only see more providers developing e-commerce platforms and small businesses leveraging these third-party e-commerce platforms to reach new customers. Such solutions offer even the tiniest of companies an affordable and accessible way to reach a global audience.

Remote work has also become increasingly popular in recent years, and the upside is that it allows small businesses to access more gig workers and a larger pool of talent and reduce overhead costs. As virtual and hybrid working models continue to gain in popularity, the future of small businesses will see many adopting more remote work policies and utilizing digital tools to manage distributed teams. Such setups offer small businesses greater flexibility and can lead to increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

Of course, sustainability is also becoming increasingly important in the business world to boot. Green practices can help small businesses reduce their environmental impact, increase customer loyalty, and attract new customers. Going forward, more firms will also be using eco-friendly materials, working to reduce waste, and implementing sustainable business practices.

Otherwise, collaboration and partnership are on the rise among small businesses too. Teaming up with other companies can provide small businesses with access to new resources, expertise, and customers. In coming years, you’ll spot more firms forming partnerships and looking to create unique team-ups and crossovers with other companies as a way to reach new customers and expand their offerings as well.