2019 is considered by many entrepreneurs as a tough year. Despite the economic rise Kenya prides itself of, many SMEs lament of the difficulties they have experienced and the lack of cash flow to effectively manage their businesses. Could this be as a result of inequality in income distribution, lack of a conducive environment or just the business model deployed by many organizations? Better yet, could it be a combination of all? Very likely, I would confidently say so, but today, lets' focus a bit on the business model.

A glance at the economy today and one can't help but observing the drastic shift in consumers' behaviours and lifestyles. Some of them include but are not limited to:
- Increase in spending: amidst the economic growth, researches indicate that ''less than 0.1% of the population own more wealth than the bottom 99.9% (more than 44 million people). The richest 10% of people in Kenya earned on average 23 times more than the poorest 10%.''Oxfam International, 2017. This has forced Kenyans to spend more than they save and forced to live from hands to mouth. Most Kenyans are said to spend 38% of their income on food, 18% on alcohol and 14% on rent.

- A drastic increase in digital credit: ''More than one in 4 Kenyans have taken a loan with 41% aged between 26 and 35 years '' FCD Kenya, 2018. These loans are primarily used to repay other digital loans, funding a business and purchasing luxurious items.

- Increase in online preferences including online studies, online market, home deliveries and internet penetration. According to Internet World Stats, 2019: ''Kenya internet penetration rate was at 89.4% in 2018'' and is most likely to continue growing.
 
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- Convenience: the past years have seen a shift in the world population- Kenya included. A shift that involves a high dependence on phones, the convenience of settling bills through M-pesa and other online platforms, doing shopping by e-commerce and having items delivered straight to your doorstep. 

- More knowledgeable: Kenyans consumers have become more demanding thanks to accessibility of information and availability of options. They compare prices before making a purchase. Consumer behaviours are ever changing. 

This adjustment in lifestyle has led to changes in the way businesses strategize and operate. A good example is giant Jumia, an e-commerce platform initially created to deliver ready made meals, but that have since partnered with businesses across different sectors and expanded its services to delivering household items, pharmaceutical products, foodstuff, electronics, fashions and providing travel related services. While the taxi industry is constantly on strikes and creating chaos in the street of Nairobi, UBER, BOLT and other similar digital entities are entering the market and growing.

Is there a pattern currently feeding the business model of companies? Will the internet with its added advantage continue to guide how business are run? Artificial Intelligence has started to dominate our airwave and you know what they say: when America sneezes, the rest of the world gets a cold. How soon will Kenya embrace it or has it already? What does this shift mean to YOUR business and the new skills you might require? As you begin to strategize on your 2020 business/strategic plan, it is important to take into perspective this new shift in consumers' preferences, to survive this ever changing era. Defining a progressive model in line with the rapid changes in today's world, that focuses on research, data management, change management and strategic organizational design can guarantee organizational survival.