In general, the great thing about successful entrepreneurs is their ability to take advantage of trends and changing market conditions. As new concepts and ways of working emerge, it may take large corporations months or even years to recognize and embrace the change. A startup, on the other hand, is agile enough to change and adapt with ease. Here are some of the trends that startups can take advantage of in 2019.
1. Remote Work
Many employees now expect the option to work remotely. In fact, many will turn down a job if this option is not provided. Easy access to high-speed internet in most locations around the world means that remote working is now a possibility for almost anyone. Startups and entrepreneurs are beginning to embrace this trend by allowing their employees to work from wherever they have a reliable internet connection. Employing remote workers can also lead to a reduction in operating costs and an increase in productivity and job satisfaction.
2. Customer interactions
The number of ways brands can communicate with their customers continues to increase. Embracing these new and evolving channels, such as social media, is crucial in increasing customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. Positive customer interactions help to build strong relationships that result in trustworthy brands that consumers want to engage with. This applies to all industry verticals where consumer engagement is fast becoming the number one priority for startups and entrepreneurs alike.
3. Efficiency gains
In a hypercompetitive world, the efficient use of time and resources is one of the keys to business success. One way that startups are improving efficiency is through a Kaizen Burst. A Kaizen Burst is a short improvement project aimed at increasing efficiency in the workplace. It’s a way for startups to analyze processes within their business and apply quick fixes. The small but incremental improvement gains achieved from a Kaizen Burst can give startups the edge they need over the competition.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is not what you see in the movies. Instead of killer robots, AI refers to the software powering much of your analytics, digital tools, and automation platforms used every day. These things are no longer concepts, but real and measurable accomplishments that AI help us achieve. Startups and entrepreneurs can leverage AI technology to complete tasks that would previously have required human interaction. You can automate decision-making, recognize patterns in data and even perform more creative tasks like image recognition. The power of AI is being realized and those who do not embrace it will be left behind.
5. Voice-Activated Technology
By now we’ve all used Siri or Alexa to tell us the weather, play our favorite music or check the news. Voice recognition technology is becoming commonplace in households around the world, and its potential is growing exponentially. Startups and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to utilize voice technology in the development of applications across a variety of industries. We often associate voice-activated technology with the household, but it also has the potential to improve industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, education and more. As the technology continues to improve, the opportunities for its application are limitless.
6. Subscription Services
Spotify and Netflix are just two of the many subscription-based services that consumers are embracing world-wide. Startups continue to innovate with the subscription-based model, with new companies popping up all the time in the food, apparel, and lifestyle industries. Many business-to-business companies are also seeing success with subscription-based models, offering subscription services for cloud-based offerings that were traditionally only provided as on-premises hardware options.
The one thing that underpins all the points mentioned above is data. Data is the new oil and is valuable to startups across all industries. Most companies have a plethora of data at their disposal. However, they either don’t know what to do with it or don’t use it effectively. Start-ups that can successfully utilize data will know more about their customers and the markets they operate in. Data and analytics can be used to analyze consumer behavior, predict future outcomes, improve efficiency, and reduce operational costs. Harnessing the right analytical software will be the key for startups and entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on the ever-increasing data available to them.
To take advantage of these trends in 2019, start-ups and entrepreneurs need to be willing to think differently, embrace new technologies, and be comfortable with shifting their perspective. Successfully embracing trends and adapting to shifting market dynamics is not easy, but it’s what successful entrepreneurs and start-ups have always done.