2018 has come to a close and a new year is upon us. The start of our planet's new orbit around our star is a time for people to come up with resolutions for new behaviours and set goals to achieve over the next 365 days.
For business owners, it's time for the year end financials to be completed and a review of the business operations to assess if value has been achieved through the strategic goals set out in the past. In addition, business owners assess the outside environments and look for trends that will affect their bottom line moving into the new year! Here's a few trends to help your business prosper in 2019;
1. VC's Isn't Just for Tech Anymore
In the past, if you wanted to attract investment dollars from Venture Capitalists (VC's), you needed a new and savvy tech product full of grand visions and sharp visuals to get VC's to invest. But more than ever, VC's are now looking at investing in industries that aren't so sexy such as waste management and construction. If you are an expert in your field and are tackling new ways to solve old problems, chances are, there's a VC looking for you!
2. Talk About Your Brand's Story, Not The Product's Benefits
Unless you have a never before seen, truly new and innovative product that does things no product has ever done before, chances are, most people understand and expect your product or service to perform at a certain level. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could promote that fact that your food tastes good, your food is flavourful and your food is served piping hot! But the thing is, people go to any restaurant and expect their food to taste good, to be flavourful and to be served hot! Customers today buy more into the story of your business rather than just the performance of your product or service. Create and compelling story and build it into your product or service to differentiate your business from the competition.
3. Back To The Basics
The marketing and advertising industry has seen a drastic change in the landscape due to the introduction and influence of social media. As social media platforms grew in audience size and gathered information about their users interests and habits, social media platforms began monetizing that information to sell advertisers. It was done to make money, not to help consumers find what they are looking for. So how can a business stand out and stay relevant in the marketing world? Stay true to your audience who will refer you to their friends. Remember the basics of marketing 101, referrals from customers is your greatest tool for building your business. Carve out your niche audience and focus on what they want from your business and your customers will return the favour with loyalty through repeat business and word of mouth referrals.
4. Create An Experience, Not A Storefront
Shopping malls and centres are officially on the extinction list. Many are quick to blame e-commerce as the culprit but the truth is, online sales only account for a small percentage of overall retail sales. So where is everybody spending their time (and money)? People spend the majority of their time in three main places; their home, their workplace and spaces that don't aren't the home or workplace. People want an experience when they choose to spend their time outside of their home and work. Connecting with other people is one of the biggest factors when choosing where to go and spend their time (and money). Shopping malls use to dominate the social space for many people but it was inherently flawed from the beginning. Malls were setup for shopping, not socializing, you usually needed a car to get there and you needed to have lots of money to spend to stay there and feel engaged. More and more people today are looking for an engaging experience where they can connect with others and not just be pressured to spend all of their money. So focus on creating an experience, not just a storefront.
- Steven McCoy