2017 has been an interesting year for small businesses. We’ve seen the meteoric rise of the influencer and a dramatic downturn in bricks and mortar retail as consumers’ love affair with online shopping continues to surge. While these trends look set to continue here are some others predicted to emerge in 2018.
Today’s consumers are savvy and sophisticated and they can see through inauthentic advertising instantly. Companies, brands and small businesses that use honest marketing, real customer testimonials and have a genuine connection with their audience are the ones set to thrive in the year ahead.
As more women are starting businesses than ever before we’re seeing new ideas, new perspectives and new solutions to old problems emerging. Women are often more creative, more intuitive and more likely to be inspired by a strong calling to make an impact through their business. This unique combination of creativity and passion to make the world a better place is something we’re likely to see more of in the future. These businesses will increasingly be focused on ethical and fair trade practices, environmental sustainability, and will also include humanitarian efforts and other social enterprises.
As more and more people become disenchanted with the nine to five, we’re seeing people using their former career and corporate skills to become service providers. They are increasingly looking for creative ways to be their own boss by either becoming freelancers or creating their own team of service providers and starting innovative and collaborative small businesses.
There are lots of great ideas out there just waiting to get off the ground and in 2018 we will continue to see more innovative products and new digital technology emerging. Artificial Intelligence will become more advanced and is set to revolutionise the way we live. As more new tech is developed expect to see new interpretations and iterations continue to follow at an ever increasing rate.
As exciting as the evolution of technology is, we’ll begin to see people increasingly consciously switching off, taking “digital detox” breaks and disconnecting. This will result in more retreats, more mindfulness and more wellness based businesses as people strive to find better balance in an increasingly busy world.
If 2017 was the year of #METOO, 2018 will be the year of “Here I am, hear me roar!” Women will continue to speak up and speak out in numerous ways and women will begin “showing up” in a completely new way. This is significant in the small-business world which has traditionally been a very masculine and male-dominated space. Expect to be seeing more products that are specifically designed for women, by women, more female founders making the news and more women run companies rising to the top levels of business.
Peace Mitchell, Co-Founder, The Women’s Business School