I haven’t written a piece where I make significant predictions for the future but in light of my personal theme for 2016 including among other similar values, the intent to be daring, I will place some bets while hedging my losses (as you will see) anyway.
So here goes, my top 6 predictions for business and startups in 2016 and how to execute them yourself.
- More people will build up the courage to launch a startup this year. Throughout 2015 we saw startups poping up like corn in a microwave. With that said, I think the startup scene has only just began. In the last few years the word “startup” has become the buzz word and I’d say in 2015 it gained a significant amount of traction. When I first launched my business at 22 years old it was called just that, a business. Now every lemonade stand to fashion labels are called a startup. What I’ve come to notice however is the psychology behind the business itself that lends it to the idea of being a startup. Often these startups have a longer launch phase proceeding an even longer development phase where funds are being raised, typically though crowd funding or VC. They may have had or will likely have multiple attempts at the “launch phase” and can include a number of founders. Many seem to require some level of involvement in the online or tech world as well. None-the-less 2016 has excitement labelled all over it. The more startups that enter the market, the more people that find the courage to follow in the footsteps that lie before them. And there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of niches, it just seems that those who are willing to give the challenge a go are both appropriately crazy and of the belief that you have to be in it to win it. What are you waiting for?
- More people will work harder and the hustle culture will sprout in 2016 followed by a larger increase again in 2017. I love this one. I’ve always valued hard work and believe in a meritocractic model for society above handouts any day. If you can look past the saturation of Instagram pictures showing freshly withdrawn or borrowed hundred dollar bills flooded across a mattress surrounded by empty brand name shopping bags to see the real players in the business world, you’ll quickly notice a culture is germinating that will make it cool to work hard. I’d argue soon enough that to not be labelled a workaholic might be the new syndrome of the day. If you can muster the energy to stay up till 2am only to rise again at 6am you might just make it into the hustle hall of fame if you make enough moves during the early hours of the morning. It’s about chasing a dream your neighbour isn’t willing to chase. The question is, are you willing to work… really hard?
- More people will turn to video, podcasts and social media to grow and gain exposure for their business. This one is a no brainer and the trends have been arguing this one for a while. The race to get onto the screens of the smartphones of your customers has never been more desirable. Shucks, I’m writing this article on my iPhone right now using an app that stores content on servers accessable anywhere on the planet via the cloud. If your thinking back to high school science classes and precipitation right now, you need to get with the times. Video, podcast and social media are quickly becoming regular meals as far as content consumption is concerned. They are engaging, addictive and convienient and worth every investment of time you put into them. Learn to know where your customers hang out in the digital world and pay them a visit.
- There will be an increase in the desire for minimalisation and simplification in key areas of life and business. This means your desk, your visual merchanising, your advertising campaigns, your instagram images, your closets. Clean it all out and simplify. The world has way too much going on now and it seems like the easiest go to escape at the moment is, yes, you guessed it, the smartphone. If you can deliver content that makes the person feel like everything is going to be ok, that your product is the right one without all the hassles, that your service will make things easier, chances are you will make the sale. And it all starts with your branding. How much white space is there? Are you getting to the point? Is your message both sexy and simple? Are the answers to your customers questions easily obtainable or do they have to get passed and through five people before they speak with you? Do they have to click ten times to get to a contact or purchase form or can they do it in less than three clicks? Simplify. Reduce. Innovate.
- Further to my claims in this blog post last year, brand humanisation will be key to success in business this year. I stood by this in 2015. I stand by this in 2016. I will stand by it again in 2017. Be-the-brand. Be real. Be approachable. Be accountable. Be you. Be available. People want to do business with people again. Who would of thought?
- The market will see an influx of coaches in the self-help industry. I read recently that the coaching and its associated market is a multi-billion dollar industry, making new records in predicted revenue. That’s a big market with plenty of room for all types of people to try their hand at making a dollar. The key to a good coach or mentor is seeking one out that executes on strategies in their own personal life too. It never ceases to amaze me how the health industry has practising physicians prescribing anti-obesity drugs when many themselves have BMIs that would make even the fat content of a cheeseburger tremble in its wrapping. My point is do your research and choose your support group and team wisely, it will pay off significantly in the long run.
And there you have it. As I sign this one out I’m comforted in knowing that even if these predictions don’t all come to fruition, each point still serves to provide strategies to help your business and even your self grow in 2016. Seems like a win-win-win to me.
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