It’s time to dust off the crystal ball, consult with consultants, and come up with some predictions for 2013. If the Mayans are right, none of this matters. If I’m right, 2013 can be a breakthrough year for you and your business. I’m going to pick the trends that are going to change your business in the coming year.
They are shared in hopes of inspiring you to take charge of your life and your business because over 50 percent of my readers will be in a completely different business by the end of 2013. You will need to decide what that business will be. Your business is either growing or dying and for many of you it will be the latter. Don’t let your current business strategies paint you into a corner. Now the good news, you control your own destiny. Here are my five trends to watch for.
The first trend is hyper-personalization. This trend has the greatest impact on your business because it will no longer be effective for you to run marketing campaigns addressed to the masses. This year is the tipping point on how much you know about your customers and how well you can target your offers to match your best clients and customers. You customers will not only expect a personal message, up to 90% will take their business elsewhere if they don’t get it.
The second trend is continuing globalization and with it commoditization of your best products and services. No surprise to you. You best clients and customers are being approached by more people who offer products and services like yours for lower costs. After all, you’re always shopping for a deal with your vendors. The cost to both you and your suppliers will be devastating this year as business will continue to try to get the best deal on everything they purchase. How do you create extraordinary experiences for clients and partners in the coming years?
The third trend is the increasing use of computer technology in your products. Smart products and services are here to stay. Look at many of the toys you purchase for your children or grandchildren. You see products that have more computer power in them than we had in our Apollo mission to Mars. Your children and grandchildren have the ability to program a flying helicopter to fly over neighborhoods, capture digital video, and provide real time navigation, all for less than$ 500. Now, I know what you’re thinking$ 600 dollars for a children’s gift for Christmas is a lot. Well, thanks to Steve Jobs the bar for great holiday gifts has gone up forever with his iPads and iPhones. If you’re looking for incredible toys for adults, look to the Samsung line of Android phones that lets you share your most personal videos on the run, simply by touching the phones together.
The fourth trend is the growing boomer wave. Every day, 10,000 baby boomers leave their jobs. With them goes some of your best workers and all the knowledge they have of how your business works. This exodus could be devastating for many small to mid-market businesses. Are you prepared to deal with this shortage of leadership talent?
On the upside, this creates an incredible market for new products and services focused on the retiring boomers. The challenge is to remember who these people are. They are individuals and require more targeted marketing to bring them in as customers and clients. Are your marketing people able to understand this elusive market? I went out looking for a new car recently and was startled at how little the sales professional knew about me and my needs. She tried to sell me the same way she would have sold me when I was in my 30’s. She lost the sale, worth over $75,000, but more importantly she hasn’t got a clue as to why she lost my business or that of my other clients looking for a similar vehicle.
The fifth and final trend is increasing regulation and taxes. It looks like 2013 will be a year where the government continues to obstruct new business growth. It should be no surprise to you that I’m an unrepentant capitalist. I know that only by creating an environment that fosters business growth will we work our way out of our current economic challenges. As long as government continues to act like a petulant child, the economy will continue to experience painful growth and contraction cycles. 2013 will be a watershed year for business leaders. I’m betting you will begin seeing the seeds of economic revolution taking control of our organizations. Will we cede our business and financial interests to the government or take control of our own destiny? My bet is we will regain control of the economy by recreating it using out of the box thinking and new business growth strategies.
Now that you know the big trends, how will you take advantage of them? Over the next several weeks we will start sharing strategies and tactics to help you ride these trends to success. We are very excited about 2013 and the potential opportunities it will provide entrepreneurs. See you starting next week as we begin breaking down the trends and sharing leading edge thinking on what it will take to build a great organization moving forward.