2013 is fast approaching, and if you’re like me, and 99% of other entrepreneurs, you’re getting introspective on what worked well and what didn’t in 2012.
What’s more, you are likely thinking about what 2013 is shaping up like from a business front and how to tap into the trends that will really help you to grasp the abundance of opportunities at your fingertips.
Well look no further ‘cos this girl has been doing her research (I kind of geek out on this stuff), and since I believe it’s hugely important you are in the know, I’m going to break it down for you.
I’ve done a lot of reading, watching and listening including attending a live 4 hour webinar in the wee hours of my morning that was all about future business trends – frankly it blew my mind.
That said, lots of stuff written on key trends for business in 2013 is not exactly reader friendly or easy to digest, so I’m going to lay it out in the lingo of modern day entrepreneurs yo!
The more you can understand and cater to the changing needs of consumers – aka your potential clients, and their desires and expectations, you will forever have plenty of opportunity to profit.
What Global Trends Can We Expect in 2013
A remapped global economy, lots of cool new technologies, improvements to old ones and new ways of doing business, sounds great right? While I can’t cover everything here, I’ve focused on five of the best.
Click to tweet: The future is full of opportunities. Are you ready to tap into them for your small business with these key trends? http://ow.ly/g34Rb
1. Mobile is the New Everything
If you’re website is not mobile friendly, or your email campaigns aren’t optimized for smartphones, then you are seriously behind according to TrendWatching. In case you hadn’t noticed, people do everything on their phones.
In fact, more of us will look to our mobile devices to maximize every single moment of our life through apps, podcasts, videos and payments. For example, my fave new app is Downcast that allows you to listen to podcasts anytime – with no need to sync to iTunes or be online.
I highly recommend installing WordPress plugin MobilePress to make your blog or website mobile friendly. Most decent email clients also offer a mobile friendly newsletter template now too.
2. Consumers Are Shaping Our Businesses
With this mobile reliance and smartphones getting smarter comes our ability as consumers to have real influence online and make more informed decisions about what we purchase and why.
We’re`Googling’ first to research products like never before, and on multiple devices, as well as checking out review sites and forums to get a `real’ opinion of a product before we buy online or set foot in a store.
Social media has made this even more possible through online word-of-mouth marketing from our friends and connections as to what they buy and that influences our decisions too, obviously. We trust our friends opinions …usually! I get a lot of answers to my questions thanks to Twitter and Facebook these days and inherently trust my friends’ answers.
3. Being Real is the New Black
So based on the above, and if you’ve been listening and observing the trends online, you’ll know that more of us are becoming skeptical about the way brands and individuals are presenting themselves online – think overly polished, too perfect and spam artists.
According to Ford’s futurists, trust in brands is down 50 percent over the last decade. Since it’s so scarce, it’s going to be more valuable for brands to build it – that includes you and me. We are going to do that by engaging the consumer in a real and genuine way and having their testimonials as proof – not just written but video, open comments, and allowing them to shape the way in which we build our brand and products.
Consumers will hold us accountable for being socially responsible, environmentally conscious, charitable and future focused. That’s my take on Ford’s trend predictions, which also note we will value companies that actually admit and try to fix their flaws and mistakes rather than glossing over them.
4. Digital Marketing is Not a Piece of Pie
In fact it’s only going to get more complex as you need to understand all the pieces of the pie that people want to eat. The value of social media goes well beyond a click-through and purchase, it’s all about gaining access to larger audiences through guest posting, campaigns that have viral appeal and smart advertising.
As you’ve seen with Facebook’s sponsored posts and`offers’, you can get extremely granular in targeting your exact demographic. Twitter is providing sponsored tweets and new features to advertisers, and YouTube is allowing more `humble’ video fans to tap into their advertising platform.
All of this means digital marketing is an overwhelming space if you don’t have a plan in place of who you are targeting and why and having a cross-channel marketing strategy in place as Sid Sah from Adobe suggests.
It’s time to look at what you’re doing and assess whether it’s working for you – do you need a podcast, YouTube show or educational portal in addition to your digital shop and services?
5. Crowdfunding is the New Breed of Angel Investor
I for one am excited that Crowdfunding is going to continue to make a huge impact on launching people’s dreams. That’s why my post How To Create A Kick Ass Crowdfunding Campaign And Make Your Dreams Come True is so popular.
You don’t need to hit up investors anymore and give away large chunks of control of your company, instead you to one of a plethora of crowdfunding sites, like my new personal favourite Pozible (‘cos it’s location independent so to speak) to raise exactly what you need.
In 2013 more and more of us will embrace this way of helping each other fund, launch and grow new products, brands and movements. It’s the new way to invest and part own another’s dream and see them succeed at the same time.
What Key Trends Will You Tap Into?
I would like to say these are trends are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s coming our way with the likes of 3D digital printing, which will change the face of commerce, automation through robots and leveraging resources in space.
If you liked this post, then you can be sure I will be writing more on this in the coming weeks. But for now let’s just focus on what you can actually tap into and apply to your own business.
Remember to focus on the key trends here and do your own investigations to see which ways you can build a profitable future proof business from anywhere.
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visit facebook.com/
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What key trends do you think will be important for your business in 2013? Let me know in the comments below!