As you know, we live in an environment where you “blink” and you missed it. Still, there is always an urgent need to stay on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own multiple companies and honestly, I don’t think there is a single day that I am not thinking about how to make things better and enhance our competitive advantage in our industries.
I read an article a couple of days ago about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and even though they had customer orders on hand, for tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shook their doors. They were losing money and not paying attention to the changing winds.
The reality is, I can sit here today and write what you want to look for in business trends, and then a year from now, write the same type of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and that you should pay attention to in your company.
Always pay more attention to millennials
For decades and decades, the “darlings” of generations were Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and purchasing power. Since Boomers are now older people, the same can be said for Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and are the first generation to be pure digital natives. Your products and services must be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated purchasing power of $ 1.4 trillion.
Get comfortable with AI, IoT and ML
What used to be buzzwords like AI, IoT, and ML, are no longer. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of things), but maybe you haven’t heard of ML (machine learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning them on their own. Through machine learning, we get self-driving cars, great web search tools, handy speech recognition programs, and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a larger role in life and business.
I prefer my team to be on site, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these items are outsourced. Currently, 40% more of American workers perform some work remotely, without having to be present at their workplace all the time. This trend creates demand to adequately train remote employees via video conferencing platforms, especially for programming and social media positions. All that is required is a computer and the Internet.
Get over clutter
How you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to get to the point right away. Branding, encompassing name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With a great brand, you are perceived as authoritative, successful, and trustworthy because you pay attention to detail. It also makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates are looking for you rather than looking to apply for a position at an unknown company. Because of the branding, it is easier to create more businesses with the same name.
The opportunity exists in the purchase of businesses
There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of Baby Boomers and Millennials will buy them and then reinvent the companies they buy. Be on the lookout for your competition because there is always the opportunity to buy from an existing competitor. For example, you can buy your entire customer base, or maybe they’ve excelled in ecommerce, and you can incorporate that into your portfolio. I have successfully purchased some of my competitors and it has only helped my business grow.