Entrepreneurs and small business owners hear a lot of talk about preparing for the future, or “looking at the road ahead.” Even here at Wise Business Plans, we’re always telling clients to make sure they have a map to guide them through the twists and turns of starting and running their own company.
But what twists are we talking about? And how will you recognize the dips and turns ahead? What will they look like? That’s where the experts we employ come in. They know the landscape and have done the market research that shows what future trends and technology may look like. Here are a few examples of what the map of the future may hold.
People may find that they are “online” all the time. There will be a constant connection to customers via wearable technology and touch sensors in the home, office and vehicles, even mass transit. Things like glasses and smart watches are already here and will become cheaper and more common. Quickly on their heels will be new products such as facial recognition, iris scans, even contacts for your irises and brain implants.
Your data will be the most valuable currency. As the struggle between more data/more resistance toward it, continues, consumer information will be more precious. Businesses that know a lot about their consumers and what they like can offer that knowledge to those that don’t have or can’t get the data. They will pay a premium for it because they can’t operate without it.
Along those same lines, privacy issues will become bigger than ever. As more data is collected from every aspect of a person’s life, consumers will put up bigger walls protecting privacy. Customers will be less likely to freely hand over their email, online credentials and especially their actual address and phone number.
All of this will make trust more important than ever. As customers become tired of more and more intrusion, they will look for companies that feel real and authentic. Content will have to be less about sales and marketing and more about what customer entertainment and information.
Happy customers will be the new billboard. The customer will rely heavily on user ratings and recommendations, products will live or die by word-of-mouth feedback. Successful companies will do less marketing and more development of products that have value. The frontrunners will also develop easy ways for people to talk about them.