Want a healthy dose of reality? Being a business owner means more than having to: (a) know your business; (b) handle the sales, marketing, and finance of said business; (c) nurture your customer’s needs; and (d) keep that business afloat. On top of all of that, you need to keep your vision on the horizon. To know what’s coming your way. To be ready to adapt.
We are living and breathing through the age of information, which means trends are coming at us faster and faster. As business owners, it’s our job to find true north, keep a steady hand on the wheel, and maneuver our way through the minefield of trends.
Personally, this is the part that I love! Staying one step ahead not only helps the bottom line and keeps the job fresh, but it can position you as a thought leader (and it scratches that “Shiny-Object Syndrome” itch most entrepreneurs seem born with). And to help you keep focused on your business, I’ve gone ahead and done the work for you! Check out my 10 Trends to Watch…and Use to Grow Your Business
1. The Riches are in the Niches
You can get almost anything customized to your specific and exact needs these days. From your technology to your business, to even the television shows you want to watch or the advertisements you see. Gone are the days of one-size fits all. As a niche company, if you can find that market where you need to live – then you’ve struck gold. And targeting that market is easier now than ever with social media and customized searches to pinpoint the DNA of your client.
2. Let Your Inner Subject Matter Expert Shine
Maybe it’s because, as business owners, we get to see behind the curtain, but do you find it painfully obvious (and maybe a little irritating) when you’re being blatantly “sold to”? Well here’s the kicker, most people do. With niche markets booming and customization at an all-time high, consumers want much more than the dog and pony show. They want to make sure the person servicing them is qualified, intelligent, and ready to take on whatever issues lie ahead. Be the Expert, not the seller.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Does the Thinking for You
CRM systems revolutionize the way you do business. Period. And they’re only getting better. If you don’t already use one, know that a CRM system is the streamline between sales, marketing, analyzation, and execution. Many companies are also integrating “smart technology” to allow the system to pick up on trends even before you do. It’s all the work you want to do but can’t find time for.
4. On-Demand Business Models Will Become More Common, Even in B2B spaces
Some call it outsourcing, most are calling it “on-demand business models.” Anything from website creation to administrative assistants, bookkeeping to marketing, businesses are increasingly outsourcing tasks to reduce overhead (and we would know, it’s basically our entire business model J). And the business community at large is taking it even further: office space, consulting, training, you name it. Think Uber, but with office space, support, and services.
5. If You Spend Money on Targeted Marketing in Social Advertising, They Will Come
To reiterate #1 on the list, knowing the DNA of your best clients is where you need to live. Social media makes it easy to pinpoint WHO you should be talking to, HOW you should be reaching out to them, and WHAT you should be saying. And to give you that boost above your competition? Allocate funds to make sure you are reaching them!
6. Video Killed the Print Advertising Star
This is a time when the whole “If everyone jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you?” scenario just doesn’t fit. Yes, everyone is using video. And Yes, you should be, too. It’s been reported that video in email leads to 200-300% increase in click-through rate (check out the infographic here). From your website to social media, video has never been easier (or more vital) to getting your message across. Let people see the real you. Let them get to know you, to trust you, and ultimately, to try you.
7. Ditch the Paper, Expand Your Business
“Paperless Offices” are on the rise. It’s more convenient, it’s environmentally friendly, it allows you and your employees autonomy and freedom in choice of workspace, and with the leaps in technological advances in security, safety is becoming less of an issue. Our own company is migrating more and more toward paperless, and it’s given us an edge on who we can work with, where, and when. The workday is being re-defined, and that can only happen with a paperless office.
8. Collaborate with a “Circle of Influence”
Yes, you have competition. No, you don’t have to compete alone. You know your business. You also know the industries that complement your business. Why not partner up with them to create a better buying experience for your customers? Collaboration gives a huge boost to how many people you can reach and what you can offer them. It is also incredibly impressive to your clients when you present yourself as thought leaders within a circle of influence. Leverage your network and start using those contacts for more than just your newsletter!
9. Isolation is So Over
The workplace is becoming increasingly digital, that much we all know. However, that hasn’t changed people’s desire to connect “off-line.” Meaningful experiences are now, more than ever, important for consumers. People can work from anywhere with anyone, but if you can provide quality offline experiences for your customers and clients to take part in, you’ve already got an edge over the competition. Capitalize on human interaction and the need to cure people’s isolation!
10. Crowdfunding: Embrace It
Got a new product you’re pushing? Want to grow your customer base while still showcasing your company? Crowdfunding isn’t just for inventors and startups anymore. It can be an excellent resource for entrepreneurs to let the world know what you’re doing. Allow them to become a part of your business and to feel invested in your success!
(And because you’ve made it this far…one more for good luck! And for a bit of fun… )
11. Cannabis for the Rest of Us?
The ascendant cannabis industry will experience innovation and disruption in the coming years. Not sure what this has to do with our audience BUT it’s disruptive and it will be big! Think you can get a piece of that pie? DO IT!
We are committed to helping you stay ahead of the curve and leverage trends. Whether it’s our on demand business support and space, or our educational programs to help you define that niche and create thought leadership marketing, we deliver. Schedule a complimentary consult today.