5 Business Trends for 2015

2015 is upon us, and as we near the halfway point of the 2010s, business is changing in a number of ways. The things that made companies successful in the 20th Century will not necessary work in the 21st. So to ensure that your business survives and thrives in the coming years, you need to be on top of the latest trends.

Here are 5 trends to be aware of in the coming year and beyond that your business needs to plan for:

  1. Old School Sales Tactics are Fading

Consumers are a lot savvier these days. Gone are the days when they needed to call or visit a physical location to find out about a product or service. Today, an hour or two of research and reading reviews can tell prospective buyers 75% of what they need to know before they ever talk to a salesperson. As a result, consumers are far less likely to respond positively to the high-pressure sales pros of yesteryear. They would much rather speak with someone that will kindly show them their options and answer their questions. Successful sales people today will also be more consultative in their approach, seeking to add value to the customer’s purchase by being the ‘go to’ person when they need help.

  1. Marketing is Holistic

This trend ties in closely with #1. Today, the average consumer is at least half way through the buying cycle before they ever talk to someone by phone or face to face. For this reason, it is critical to reach them in the earlier stages of the buying cycle. For example, when a consumer goes online to research a product or service, they should be able to find your website or blog posts. For businesses to capitalize on this trend, they need to invest in online marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing (blogging) and social media promotion. The more visible you are online, the more credibility you build before the customer even walks through your door.

  1. There is Downward Pricing Pressure on Commodities

Competition is higher than ever before. And consumers are not afraid to switch providers if they can find what they perceive to be a commodity at a lower price. For example, you may have seen shoppers in stores scanning the QR code of a product (such as a TV or laptop) to find the lowest price. This also happens for professional services such as legal or accounting. They may not be using a scanner, but prospective clients will still shop around for the lowest price if they believe there is little difference in the service provided. Now more than ever, it is important to distinguish yourself from your competitors and emphasize why you can deliver the product or service better.

  1. Customers Prefer to Shop Locally

There is a movement away from the big box stores and multi-national corporations toward the local provider. Part of this is a sense that buying locally is good for everyone in the community. Another part is the desire to receive more personalized service from someone that is not several states (or even countries) away. If you are a local merchant, make sure to emphasize this fact in your marketing materials.

  1. Baby Boomers are Selling (and Buying) Businesses

Even as they enter their retirement years, baby boomers are still a driving force behind many of the trends in our society. Boomers currently hold roughly $10 trillion in wealth in businesses they plan to sell or pass on in the next couple decades. Surprisingly, however, many other boomers (between ages 55 and 64) are exiting corporate America and are looking for a business to buy because they are not yet ready to retire. This means there will be lots of buying and selling opportunities in the coming years. Whatever side of the ledger you are on, if you are looking to make a move into or out of a business in the near future, it is important to work with a local business broker with specific knowledge of the trends in your desired industry. This will help ensure that you are fully prepared for any planned career changes. Speak to a business intermediary for tips on business planning and exit strategy.

Be the first to get notified about new listings