Looking to start out or even improve your own business this year? Take a look at our compiled list of tips and trends to help entrepreneurs like you in 2017!

Tips & Trends for Entrepreneurs to Take Notice of in 2017:

Consumers are attracted to social responsibility

Businesses can no longer operate just to make a profit. They need to find ways to give back to the community it serves, protect the environment, and display transparency. Although this is not a new concept for businesses, it will become a major factor in 2017. Consumers want to see that the companies they are giving their hard earned cash to are being socially responsible and taking the extra step to serve it’s community. In fact, almost 90% of people will choose to buy products or services from companies if they have a CSR plan in place, and almost 70% of people will completely ignore a company if they know they are unethically responsible. For some companies, this can be extremely difficult, and for some, it’s what they base their entire business around.

Take a look at Toms, the now famous shoe provider that donates a pair of shoes to children in need across the globe every time one of their’s is purchased. Purchases from their other product lines like bags and sunglasses also provides community services like mental health and bullying awareness, and safe birthing education.

Toms Statistic

To date, Toms has given away over 70 million pairs of shoes to those in need and brought awareness to extremely important issues. All of this has added up to why Toms now has over 100 giving partners at their side, and why they are considered a benchmark for social responsibility.

Everyone is doing it

It seems like everywhere you turn somebody is trying to start their own business and make it big. Well… that’s because they are. Canada is second only to the U.S in number of entrepreneurs. This equates to nearly 1 in 6 people being entrepreneurs. What does this staggering number mean for your business? It means you need to cement your business, it’s competitive advantage, and ensure there is no chance of someone else replicating it. Whether it is obtaining a patent, a trademark, or copywright, make sure you are closing out any chance of someone else making money off your idea.

Still demand for physical products

While e-commerce trends and online shopping has taken the world by storm over the years, believe it or not, there still is a demand for physical products in physical stores. We have seen the growth of electronic books, records and film take over and almost eliminate their hard copy forms in the past. But physical products beginning to eat away at this gap. In fact, Amazon realized this trend and began to open up physical stores in multiple US states like Seattle, Portland and San Diego. This is huge for businesses. Although being the most dominant ecommerce force in the world, Amazon recognized that customers are still looking for physical goods and took advantage of it to further satisfy it’s customers. This is a perfect trend for entrepreneurs to not only take notice of, but also capitalize on in 2017.

Amazon Store

Brands to emerge as publishers

Over the last few years, consumers have not only become more aware, but also smarter and more curious. This has shined light on how important blogging is for businesses. They need to develop content and provide value to their brand followers. Consumers are now looking for brands that aren’t only offering products and services, but also reporting on the latest world issues, company news, and helpful information. Blogging will not only help you satisfy your brand followers, but also turn them into loyal customers. Blogging could very well be the difference between succeeding and failing. Avoid that this year by incorporating a blog into your company website so you are not left behind the competition.

Who needs full time workers?

If you are looking to add additional skills to your team in 2017, you may want to look at hiring contract workers instead of full time employees. Yes that’s right, you no longer need full time workers to help your business grow. Of course this depends on your business and the needs you are looking to fulfil, but the number of independent contractors are growing day by day and it shouldn’t be ignored. By 2020, it is expected that 40% of people will be freelancers, and that they will contribute over $700 billion to the economy.

Here is a list of pro’s and cons between hiring a freelancer over a full time employee:

Hiring a Freelancer

Be laser focused on revenue

The ways entrepreneurs are starting up their businesses is completely different than it was 5 years ago. Entrepreneurs are no longer looking to acquire investors, but rather drive early on revenue. This mind set it setting up entrepreneurs for long term success and also helping them avoid that quick burst of flame that eventually dies out for many new businesses. A study by Forbes, indicates that over 90% of businesses fail in their first year, and this model of “revenue now, growth later” allows more companies to fall into the successful 10%. If you are an entrepreneur looking to start up a business this year, look into how you can quickly earn revenue, instead of acquiring investors.

Sharing economy will expand

What is the sharing economy? The sharing economy refers to any business model which enables its users to interact with one another and trade for goods and services. Some of the biggest name brands that are currently using this business model are: A Uber, Lending Club, Airbnb, and Lyft.

Uber has been one of the drivers of this trend and experts don’t anticipate the sharing economy to fall out of favour any time soon.

How successful is the sharing economy model? If implemented and carried out the right way, the results can be mind blowing. For example, Uber, reports a 40% revenue growth each consecutive quarter. And it’s not just the company turning and eye boggling profit, but also its drivers who can earn anywhere from $15-$30 an hour. The growth of Uber has also pushed their number of drivers past the number of taxi drivers, which has now reached over 8 million.

These stats back up experts’ claims that the sharing economy is on the rise. This year, keep your eyes open and don’t be surprised to see more business ventures implenting this business model.

Want more information about the sharing economy? Click here to see the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s full report! 

The face of entrepreneurship today 

The dynamic of entrepreneurship is rapidly changing. The last few years has brought on more and more diversity into the entrepreneurial world, as we are now seeing more women, other nationalities, and younger generations dive into their own business ventures.

Here is a what the face of Canadian Entrepreneurship looks like today:

  • Over 200,000 new businesses open up each year
  • More Youth: Since millennials have taken over Baby Boomers as the largest working generation, do not be surprised if you start seeing younger faces pitching their business ideas. But it isn’t just millennials who are on the rise. Generation Z is also seeing growth and using their pragmatic, socially conscious ways to find innovative ways to please the market.
  • More Women: 2016 was an excellent year for female entrepreneurs. In fact, the number of women who had their own businesses reached the highest point it has ever reached (41%) – and that’s after they recorded their lowest mark since 1996, two years ago. Female entrepreneurs are on the rise, and 2017 shows no signs of women slowing down their business efforts anytime soon.
  • More Diversity: We are starting to see an even, diverse playing field in the entrepreneur community. 2016 saw nearly 40 percent of new entrepreneurs being African American, Latino, Asian, or other non-whites.

The rise of other races, genders, and younger generations starting their own businesses allows opportunities, and products and services to be offered for everyone; since we all have different needs and different points of view. As the world continues to evolve and change, workplace diversity will continue to become more common and prominent, and only allow our society to strive forward. Expect to see an even bigger increase in diversity this year. 

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

That concludes are tips and trends for 2017, but if you’re still craving more resources, check out Daily Entrepreneur Essentials!