Read any publicity material for a new company trying to acquire capital funding, and among all of the technical details, the vast majority of pitches will mention business trends. The irony is that companies understand the importance of trends when they are launching, but soon ignore them. Once the company is established, the focus is put on more pressing issues. This is an easy mistake to make, but could potentially be catastrophic for your company and its relevance in the industry.
The business landscape rarely, if ever, stands still, so the most successful companies are those that have the capacity to react to different trends and embrace them.
Here are a few current business trends that you should take into consideration when planning your strategy moving forward.
Customers Value Expertise Over Sales
Have you ever walked into a store and been approached by a salesperson within seconds? Did that encourage you or put you off? Research shows that the majority of customers prefer to consult their smartphone, rather than talk to a salesperson. The current trend in retail is to adopt the Apple model, where staff don’t have sale targets and are there to offer expertise and advice. The days of the hard sell approach appear to be at an end; customers prefer to make educated decisions on their own time, with retail staff who are more focused on helping rather than selling. This approach is initially more expensive to develop, as staff require more knowledge and training, but over time it can reap huge rewards.
Crowdfunding Is Not Just About Raising Capital
In recent years, many startups have used crowdfunding compared to the original model of venture capital funding. At the end of 2016, crowdfunding was on track to surpass venture capital, as the primary source of funding for new businesses. What many people fail to understand is that there is another huge advantage to the crowdfunding model, which is causing this switch. Raising money via crowdfunding validates the business, as it is the perfect way to expose your idea to a large variety of people. The more people who fund the project, the more confidence others will have in its potential success, because they can see that the idea is already proving popular within the marketplace. If 1000 people have confidence in a product or business plan, the overwhelming consensus is that it has great potential.
The Boundaries Between Offline and Online Are Becoming Blurred
The buying decision is increasingly taking away from the store. People are researching and evaluating their information online, looking at videos, and reading customer reviews. A growing trend among businesses is to embrace this buying strategy by creating and providing that content to potential customers. By understanding the terms they are searching for and pre-empting their questions before they are even asked, companies can steer a visitor towards the purchase decision. Companies who understand user intent, and are actively pursuing it, gain a distinct advantage over the competition. In essence, you are managing the buying decision and removing any potential barriers to purchase.
Trends have a natural ebb and flow, and although at the time of writing the above trends are current, there is every likelihood that new concepts and ideas will rise to the forefront by year’s end. For any business, the key is always to keep abreast of the latest trends and get ahead of them to take full advantage. Whenever you are focused entirely on your business, it can be a challenge to keep up to date with new trends, particularly within the digital industry, which is why it is worthwhile leaving it to another company whose entire business model is focused on exploiting digital trends.
At Level, we are continually looking for new trends and patterns, as that helps us to better implement cutting edge strategies for our clients. By visiting our blog regularly, you will be able to take advantage of our knowledge and expertise, leaving you more time to steer your business to even greater success.