- Are you a savvy entrepreneur with a passion and real drive to start your business in the very near future?
- Do you know what the market trends have been like for the year of 2017 and what you need to keep an eye on in 2018?
- We are bringing to you the top trends in starting a new business in 2017 by top experts in various fields to help you succeed and make predictions on the upcoming business year.
If you’ve decided to start your own business, you are either 1) tired of working for someone and want to be your own boss, or 2) have this amazing idea you think will win the hearts of consumers and can’t help but give it a try. Whichever the core reason is for you to start a new business, it’s only easier said than done, just like things always are in business. In order to know where to start, what’s the best strategy to utilise, how to most optimally implement those, you need to keep up with the latest trends in starting a new business. 2017 has already proved to be massive on innovations and beaming new startups. So we decided to put together some of the top trends those startups followed to succeed to help you out in the upcoming 2018. But what makes this comprehensive article even more to-the-point, is the expert input it has in it. All of the trends are elaborated on by some of the most successful thought leaders in their fields. So, read, get inspired, start your business.
1. Shopify is still on the rise - Thomas Smale, Founder, FE International
As one of the world’s leading e-commerce website platforms, Shopify is an appealing option to those wanting to start a business or acquire a new business because they are easy to setup and manage.
One of the most frequent questions we get is ‘how do I not only start but maintain a successful business?’ There is no sure answer to this question, but the things we suggest to our clients are:
- Choose product(s) for your store that are sustainable and not just a fad.
- Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure time is being used efficiently and also can be used to train any new hires as you grow.
- Outsource for things such as content creation, social media, or website updating.
- Business owners should track data around performance metrics, traffic, and finances from day one. It’s key to see your business’ growth and where your attention is needed. Should you want to sell, these are key areas that are taken into consideration when valuing your business.
Starting any online business, when done properly, takes a lot of upfront investment but could increase the value of your business significantly as the business ages.
2. On-demand businesses are only becoming more popular - George Meszaros, Co-founder at Success Harbor
If you are thinking about starting a business, why not an on-demand one? The on-demand business model if definitely on the rise. Businesses like Uber and Airbnb proved in the last few years that on-demand is a multi-billion dollar opportunity.
If you want to start an on-demand business, it is easier than ever for the following reasons:
- The technology required to start an on-demand business is cheaper than ever.
- Customers understand the benefits of hiring an on-demand company. While ten years ago some people would have been uncomfortable hiring an Uber car, it is not a problem for most consumers today.
- Scaling an on-demand business is less expensive than a traditional business. The technology behind on-demand business makes scaling simpler.
On-demand business represents the evolution of technology and customer behavior. They revolutionise the way we use services and build companies. Their impact will only increase in the future.
3. More AI in SMEs - Serban Enache, CEO of Dreamstime.com
It's probably SME businesses that are the best vector to promote AIs. Software companies traditionally are problem-solvers, and AIs of today solve particular problems. If we look at the universe of apps we have today, it is a whole new domain that didn't exist just a few years before. They vary from leisure activities to helping you find a plumber in your area through the use of AI. The limits between internet software and real-world hardware shrink by the day.
Before 2000, most software companies produced programs solely for computers. Hardware equipment had "little" brains. With the advance of mobile computing there is now a huge interest from software companies towards items controlling your music player, thermostat heater, electricity monitoring and so on. Once these limits are removed the software can become truly borderless. We can use Alexa or Google Assistant to communicate with a room's devices and while we are able to turn on/off the lights, the algorithm learns our habits and can start creating automated scenarios based on our habits for the sake of comfort/savings.
All these interactions and unified protocols generate the foundations for new industries to appear.
The EU has just announced that it will require cars to have alcohol tests, automated brake systems and black boxes in 2020. When cars will be able to communicate with each other, traffic problems and pollution will be diminished. As image-focused companies develop better algorithms for tracking content in images, their experience can be used by carmakers, for example, to track pedestrians using the car's cameras. Or even for the car to take photos by itself. If an AI engine can determine which photos are more aesthetically pleasing, it can use a series of images delivered by a car's camera to automatically shoot “best” images from that trip.
The possibilities of AI are endless, but if you disregard how it applies to your new business, you’ll be behind before you even start.
4. Utilising Smarter CRM - Barry Moltz - Author, Speaker on Small Business, Your Business Unstuck
Nowadays, CRM is the brain in your business. It now has to be directly hooked into your order processing and customer support systems. It must include a variety of ways to communicate with customers including social media (if this is the way they contacted you). All CRM systems need to have campaigns that follow up with a customer based on their actions or incidents. Finally, these systems need to give users scripts on what to say, send or post with each interaction.
Here's to getting unstuck and moving..forward starting a business in 2018 using smarter CRM.
5. Customer pain problems are still the most important - Yee Trinh, Cofounder at SavvySME
This isn't so much a trend but the foundation of any great business, whether it exists in the year 2017 or 3030. In the tech startup scene, I've come across and been the culprit of many grand visions of changing the world with revolutionary solutions. In the early days of SavvySME, we spent endless hours developing and crafting new technology and features. We were solution-focussed, rather than customer-focussed, and we struggled to grow. We went back to basics and continue to do so routinely, asking our members what it is they are struggling with. Now, even with over 22,000 members, our priority is to understand what each business struggles with and how we, as a team and how our platform can make their lives easier. If you analyse some of the greatest companies in our time, Google, Apple and McDonald's for example, each have achieved their success and continue to succeed by going beyond providing a product, but by responding to their customer's biggest pain points. McDonald's offers convenience, not burgers. Apple provides an enjoyable technology experience, not a laptop. Google provides answers, not search results.
What’s the takeaway?
2017 has been a great year for new and bright startups in different spheres from the tech world to healthcare. You can read about them everywhere, see how much money they have raised, learn about their inspiring stories, fundings, etc. But there’s just one thing you can’t succeed without: the trends that time, technologies and the market have shaped for the current state of startups. If you don’t follow them, you are less likely to hit the right track from the beginning. Things like the use of AI, on-demand businesses, Shopify ecommerce, and others are just some of the ones you need to know about and take into consideration. But most importantly? We brought some of the most savvy entrepreneurs to give you the most relevant advice on those trends to help you out and guide you from the very beginning. So, before you are good to start and call your business plan fully ready, make sure you take into account what the startup market has been like for companies in 2017 and make predictions for 2018.