7 Top Business Trends of 2018
Friday, March 09, 2018
The economy is growing and now is an excellent time to own a business. For any entrepreneur who has the next big-idea or an established business looking to grow, 2018 is the time to make key business decisions and implement strategies for growth. Appanoose Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) supports local area businesses and entrepreneurs in their endeavors by providing mentorship, connections with key financial resources, assistance with workforce development and relocation. We come alongside local businesses and make it easier to grow. When thinking about the growth goals you have for the year, consider the following business trends and how you can implement them.
7 Top Business Trends of 2018
#1. Going rural
Many entrepreneurs and business owners are realizing that it is more economical to locate in a rural community. Fast connectivity speeds are available due to local broadband initiatives, making it possible to connect with customers and suppliers remotely from anywhere in the country. As a result, companies can cut their overhead costs by locating in rural communities where the commercial lease rates are lower. This frees up more money to spend on things like marketing and human capital.
#2. Offering flexibility at work
In a booming economy it can be challenging to attract and keep talent. This has led many companies to offer their employees a greater level of flexibility, such as the ability to work remotely or to create a schedule outside of traditional business hours. With apps and programs designed to allow for remote collaboration, companies can offer more flexibility for employees without sacrificing engagement or quality.
#3. Making products in the USA
With an increased demand by consumers for products made in the United States, many companies are choosing to open manufacturing facilities here and bring jobs back home. With the reduced corporate tax rate, this is becoming more financially viable from an economic and sales perspective.
#4. Establishing real connections
Companies are spending time, resources and money, finding ways to truly connect with their customers. By deepening relationships, companies are hoping to create loyal customers.
#5. Live-streaming has gone mainstream
In the world of social media, live-streaming is gaining in popularity as people prefer to be able to watch live videos when possible. Facebook Live continues to expand their audience, for example. Live-stream videos and webinars can be used to share brand information, tips and advice, or even to showcase a product launch.
#6. Augmented intelligence is on the rise
Many large corporations are implementing solutions based on augmented intelligence. This is a combination of man and machine that is far more effective than AI alone. For example, IBM Watson is using it to notify flight attendants when a flight is delayed. Amazon is using this to make regular pricing adjustments and to alter product rankings on their site. How this will impact small businesses is yet to be determined but with Microsoft and Google leading the way, businesses can expect to have artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence impact their existing software solutions and interactions. Be on the lookout for ways that AI can be used to streamline operations.
#7. The experience economy is growing
More people are looking for an experience. Instead of seeking out the same entertainment options, they are looking to experience something new and unique, and to create an emotional connection when possible. This presents unprecedented opportunities for rural communities that have natural and cultural assets.
There are also opportunities to establish tourism centers in areas that are far from the beach, amusement parks or ski slopes. The I-72 Opportunity Corridor has a thriving business in Harpole's Heartland Lodge, a lodge that is attracting over 20,000 visitors per year to Southern Illinois. This is a perfect example of turning a rural community's natural assets into a tourism destination designed for the experience economy.
Now is the right time to start and grow a business. To find out how AEDC can assist you, call us at 641.856.3388.