Why be a trend-spotter?

business trends

Trend-spotting — anticipating dynamic changes in our society, our economy, in technology and in our daily lives — can help your search for a unique business idea. What does the future hold for us? What are the key trends impacting our lives, our world and our plans for the future?

Two examples of business trends

Fashion blogs/influencers

The internet has changed the way many businesses operate – including fashion-related small businesses. Over the past few years, hundreds of fashion blogs and YouTube and Instagram accounts have popped up online. These blogs are focused on posting daily outfits and news from the fashion industry. It may seem like a cute hobby, but many designers are taking note.

Fashion bloggers have powerful influence over their readers – anywhere from a few dozen to a few thousand people. Some of these influencers partner with designers, who offer them free or discounted product to style in an outfit and review on their blogs, YouTube, or Instagram. With the addition of affiliate links, the blogger can make some money too. This can be an effective and reasonably inexpensive way for lesser-known designers and fashion businesses to get their name out there, to a captive audience.

(One caveat – no matter your business, partnering with bloggers is no different than any other social media practice. For the greatest odds of success, keep it professional, non-spammy, and well-targeted.)

Rural business tech

Rural businesses need to pay attention to technological trends just as much as other businesses. Tourism is one industry where rural businesses operate, and tablets, smartphones and the internet are changing the way customers think.

On websites like Expedia and Yelp!, guests can shop for discounted rates and/or leave reviews about their experiences. And your business’ website is as important as ever. In fact, many customers also want mobile websites, and get frustrated by browsing a regular website that’s not optimized to work properly on their devices. Rural businesses have to adapt to these changes to stay competitive.

What business trends have you noticed in your industry? Are there opportunities for you to meet a need that’s only recently been identified?

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All about diversifying your small business

In GoForth’s October newsletter, we’re talking about small business diversification. No matter how successful you are now, diversifying your small business is an important factor in sustained success. Diversification helps you increase your sales through a combination of new products and new markets. It helps keep you protected against market slowdowns or sales plateaus.

Five ways to diversify your small business

Small business diversification can be a scary concept to consider initially. It requires focus, determination and – like anything in business – lots of research. Here are five avenues into small business diversification:

  • Engage your existing customers.
  • Engage new customers.
  • Take stock of your company’s strengths or core competencies. 
  • Take stock of your competitors.
  • Think ahead and look for emerging trends.

Read more about these five ways to diversify your business – as well as the contributions of Tommy Douglas and the growth of WWOOF – in our October newsletter, out now!

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