Let’s take a look at some of the best business trends of 2016 to watch out for. Some of these trends may just be beginning while others will already be established but haven’t become mainstream yet. So let’s get right into it:
- Connecting customers: Industry leaders are only interested in creating connections and building relationships. The most valuable companies connect buyers and sellers or consumers and content. For example, Uber is the biggest taxi company but doesn’t own any vehicles, AirBnB is the largest accommodation provider but owns no real estate, and Facebook is the biggest media company but provides no content. These are some of the most profound examples.
- Embracing millennials: People in their twenties (millennials) are the largest group right now. They are going to quickly become the biggest business owners as well. Between 1947 and 2010 it was the Baby Boomers who were the largest section of the population but not anymore. How they handle high taxes and tough regulations which are strong reasons for this ongoing recession is anyone’s guess.
- Remote employees: Innovative businesses will use telecommuting to overlook remote employee training and development. They will use electronic tools for teaching, monitoring, and mentoring team members irrespective of their physical location. This form of career development will result in employees that are more engaged and will improve millennial recruitment.
- Strength-based leadership: Companies will no longer be focused on remedial leadership. The days of discussing deficiencies and helping employees overcome weaknesses are over. In 2016, strength based leadership will increase since we are most productive and engaged when doing things we enjoy and can demonstrate proficiency in.
- Services go up, commodities go down: Delivering products or services will still be considered a commodity. Overnight delivery made it more convenient and cheaper to order products at home than visiting a store. Why drive if you do not have to? Even with cheap gas, driving is risky and time consuming. It’s just that your product or service will have to offer products that build trust easily. And your sales force will have to be able to explain the product or service wisely over the phone.
- Corporate customer service: Customer retention remains the quickest way to profit growth. Smart companies have begun embracing the fact that customer service and experience is the new form of marketing. Culture can no longer be demanded. The best organizations are able to build culture from within.
- Deliver results not solutions: Customers no longer want to invest in solutions which don’t deliver results. The best companies will invest in approaches that ensure the success of every project for every customer. This will increase customer satisfaction as well as referral and repeat business. Price only matters when the seller believes it matters.
- Creative businesses: Millennials are the biggest segment of employees and consumers. Capturing and retaining their attention is of utmost importance in 2016. Gamification is one of the best ways for creative businesses to achieve better engagement. Whether through traditional games or electronic games activities need to be made engaging and fun.
- Integrating content marketing with sales: When making purchases, sales people are relied upon for most information. Consumers always value impartial input. Smart companies will be the ones who integrate impartial content that can support customer decisions. This will mean sharing where you’re the best and acknowledging where you aren’t.
- Developing skills of non-sales people: And lastly, sales people are slowly getting a different role. Customers are no longer greeted by back-slapping via stereotypical salespeople. Instead, they are being greeted by subject matter experts. Companies seeking rapid growth are going to invest in skill development so that experts can help clients solve greater challenges with lasting implications.