Here are 10 business trends to help your business grow and succeed in 2o17.

1. Using Video on Social Media

A recent study by Forbes illustrates how important videos are becoming to not only our every day lives, but also how businesses are beginning to reach consumers. Their research shows that more than 80% of people spend most of their time on social media watching videos. Forbes data also shows that:

  • 74% of people who watch product related videos end up buying the product
  • Businesses are 53% more likely to be seen if videos are used
  • The average user spends anywhere from 16-32 minutes watching videos on social media per week
  • 65% of people will visit a companies website after watching a video
  • Over 60% of people will watch an entire video

Videos have quickly become the new medium for social media advertising, and are seeing the biggest ROI over any other content type. Forbes data shows that using social media allows your business the highest chance to be seen, and gives your message the best chance to fully get across to your customers.

This trend will continue to grow and become more important in 2017 and make incorporating videos on social media essential if businesses want to remain competitive.

Click here for help and ways to use video on social media

2. Social Responsibility is a must

Recent years have shown that people are becoming more environmentally conscious. We see people turning off the sink when they brush their teeth, turning off the lights whenever they can, and even taking the extra step to actively search for companies who are acting socially responsible. Even more so, we see people boycotting companies who aren’t following suit. Being green is the not only the new trend, but the new standard. Companies now need to take into account and analyze the footprint they are leaving, and making sure their business practices aren’t causing harm to the environment or their surrounding community.

3. Embracing Millennials

Millennials tend to be thought of as narrow minded, materialistic, entitled, and even selfish. But that isn’t the case. This judgement has simply stemmed from the fact that the younger generation works differently than the baby boomers. As 2017 begins to bring on a younger, and more millennial dominant workforce, you can expect to see business dynamics change. The younger faces of business are bringing a more creative, innovative, and efficient mind into the workplace. They are constantly thinking of ways to make their job easier, and improve business practices which translates into major change within organizations.

Millennials also bring a lot of unique skills, values, and traits to the table that the average baby boomer cannot such as:

  • An incomparable edge and understanding of technology and social media
  • Care more about progressing in a company than their salary
  • The most educated – a generation where it is almost necessary to go to post secondary school to have a well established career
  • Recognize world issues and drive awareness to create more socially responsible companies
  • Being the most environmentally conscious generation – helps keep companies socially responsible and up to date with consumer preferences

These are only some of the reasons why millennials have become the new workforce leader. 2017 is going to be about embracing millennials and letting their creative, and innovative ways propel businesses forward.

4. Continual growth of e-commerce

It should be of no surprise really. Online shopping has become the more preferred method of purchasing for consumers over the last handful of years. And why shouldn’t it be? Consumers can find anything online from the comfort of their own home. As technology increases, so will e-commerce trends. If you haven’t already, now is the time to implement an online store for your business. Failing to due so will push your company behind the competition and drive customers away.

5. Businesses for sale

Baby boomers are the starters of most of the brick and mortar businesses. And with technology advancing, and retirement looming, baby boomers are entering retirement and looking for a way to sell their business or hand it off to someone else. With the growth of online stores and the millennial workforce entering the equation, the trend has now appeared with more businesses being sold, and rejuvenated by the millennials. For the next upcoming years, do not be surprised if you begin to see younger business owners reinvent old businesses and adapt them to society wants and needs.

6. Empowered Buyer’s

Seller’s no longer hold the power. Before, sellers used to hold all the answers and were a mandatory checkpoint for buyers to go through before they could make a purchase. But fast forward to today where anything can be found, researched, and bought online, and you’ll find the power has now shifted out of the seller’s hands and into the buyer’s. The more technology grows, the smarter and more empowered buyers become. What does this mean for businesses? This empowerment means sales people need to shift their focus from just selling to customers to creating long term and loyal customers. It means businesses need to focus on ways to develop returning customers and cross sell them with multiple products.

Click here for more information on how you can improve your selling process this year

7. Narrowing Segments = Increased Attention

Like stated above, companies now must personalize experiences from start to finish for customers. No one wants something that is generic, and doesn’t suit their needs. No, they want everything fully tailored to suit them. Companies must begin to rethink their strategies to deliver a customized offering instead of a mass-generated email. Buyers have now become conditioned to ignore generic messages, even if the topic is of interest. This personalization goes beyond inserting people’s names at the top of the email. Businesses need to stray away from a “one size fits all” approach and begin segmenting their customers. In doing this, businesses will be able to offer products and services that are personalized for selective groups and in return have a higher chance of increasing their sales. This trend will continue to become more significant as time goes by, and is something your business should be doing right away this year.

8. Generating content for customers

As buyers continue to invest more time researching online before making purchases, companies need to develop information that will aid customers questions, concerns, and wants. This change in buying habits has changed the way sales people need to develop relationships with customers. Companies now must educate customers, and guide them to a decision that is fully customized to suit their needs. If your business isn’t already creating blogs, ebooks, white papers, or articles to help educate and drive your visitors closer to a sale, now is the time. The more time that passes is the more you will lose out on customers and fall behind the competition.

9. Health and Nutrition will dominate

Recent years have shown our society become more health conscious, and this trend only shows signs of increasing in 2017. Consumers have now become accustomed to tracking their fitness, what they eat, and the amount of calories they consume. Take a look at any fast food chain and you now see items such as salads, smoothies, wraps, or baked goods that you would never of saw 10 years ago. Take a closer look and you will now see the amount of calories in every meal. Health and nutrition have now become of higher importance and shifted to the forefront of consumers minds. This means businesses will need to look for ways to make their products healthier, and even market them in a way to attract health conscious consumers.

10. Crowdfunding becoming validation for products

According to crowdfunding and marketing expert Clay Hubert, “Crowdfunding is allowing companies to not only raise capital, but also validate their products before even developing them”. This discovery is now allowing companies to develop a market for their products before spending the vast amount of time, money, and resources to begin production. Crowdfunding is allowing companies to minimize new product risk, and produce a pre-interested market. As Hubert puts it himself, “Sometimes the best focus group in the world, is actually the market itself.” Crowdfunding will continue to become more common, and even surpass venture capital this year according to Forbes. Therefore, if you are looking to dive into a new project for your business this year, using crowdfunding instead of own business capital will be the way to go.

Summary – What Your Business Needs to do in 2017:

1. Use video on social media

2. Make sure your company is acting socially responsible

3. Embrace millennials in your organization

4. Develop an online store

5. Allow millennials to rejuvenate your brand

6. Focus on ways to create long term buyers and return customers

7. Narrow your email segments for a more personalized approach

8. Generate awesome content to educate your customers

9. Focus on health and nutrition trends

10. Use crowdfunding instead of capital for launching new products

Want more tips and trends to help improve your business? Take a look at our Business Cheat Sheet!