Having a “successful business” is really only a temporary state. In order for businesses to stay at the forefront of their industry, it has to be constantly evolving and adapting to the world as it changes. It’s not even enough to be “with the times”, nowadays you have to be before the times, constantly pushing the envelope of what is expected of you by your clients, customers, partners and society as a whole.
If you feel like you are just on the edge of what is currently acceptable, it’s time to really invest some time and effort into positioning yourself for the future of your industry and aiming to be at the forefront of change and not following behind others. Observe trends as they appear and embrace them as a first mover to gain that competitive advantage.
These are some of the general trends the business world is moving towards:
It’s not enough to be a brick and mortar store anymore. Every successful retail space will need to have a fully functional website, blog, app, and newsletter which, in addition to encouraging in-store purchases can sell products online. Your audience wants to connect with you over all types of social media, from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to Snapchat. Even if you think your industry has no place being online, you are mistaken, as now every reputable company at least has a website, if not a more engaging online presence on social media.
Dealing with Asian markets
Asia has been known as a company of producers, but the buying market there has increased along with the middle class there. Whether you are looking for a factory in which you can manufacture your goods or you think that your service would be useful for Asian consumers, it’s high time that you learn more about Asian cultures and their languages. In the meantime, you’ll want to make connections with local companies offering professional and affordable certified Chinese translation services while eventually hiring staff who are fluent in the language.
Though going “green” might still seem like a niche or hippie thing to do, you’ll find that in a few years it will be an essential part of being in business, not a differentiator or a perk. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you need to be very vocal and clear about your commitment to the environment and sustainability, making it a core value in your company. Otherwise, you might find yourself having to play catch-up later just to fit the minimum requirements which will bring you little value.
Much of society is transitioning from the mindset of “bigger and more is better” to “small is beautiful”. In addition to the sheer value of something measured by its function and ability, more and more people take into account the story of the company, the branding, the design, and how it aesthetically fits their lifestyle and identity. Companies have to start addressing the quality of life of their audience, not just justify the price with the perceived function or value.
Thinking long-term and positioning your business towards the future of your industry isn’t just wise, it’s a necessity if you hope to achieve success. Investing into gaining a following online and a functional business service there, looking for compatibility with Asian markets, and focusing in sustainability are only a few of many ways of getting there. Every industry has its own specific opportunities and you should never be too focused on the current state of things to forget to look to the future and how you see your business there.