The Trend Is Your Friend
It would seem as though buying into trends places an expiry date on the peak of a business’s potential sales volumes, but the truth is most successful entrepreneurs used trends to forecast consumer needs and plausible solutions before anyone else.
Not only innovators throughout history, but a large percent of modern companies is using trends to spot opportunities for market entry and competitive advantage. Trends often dictate the industries of the future.
At MnM, we teach that the trend is your friend and discuss how to use consumer and industry developments to gain insights that will be useful for business planning. When crafting a path for your passion, you can look at up and coming trends to understand which industries are taking off, and how you can capitalise on the growth. They are not to be confused with ‘fads’, which are short and passing phases of changes within societal culture. A trend is an observed pattern in industry development, innovation, opportunity, or methods of conducting business.
They can also emerge in the form of business models. For example, over the last 20 years, eCommerce models have rapidly grown from a small player to a dominating and legitimate method of business operation. Entering conservative industries, such as trades, will always be a safe option in terms of providing a solution that consumers need. However, the world is continuously evolving into a digital space and as such, start-ups and tech companies are now the most successful businesses in the world. What do these companies have in common? They acted on and developed their business models using trends.
Of course, the most successful start-ups understood that they would need to scale their business relative to the market appetite. This is since massive industry innovations were not yet made and developing new business models based on trends is a slow and intensive process.
The way in which business models based off trends secures stability is to start of small and simple, garner experience within a small network of people who test the product or service and take feedback to make improvements based off user experiences. The process is then rinsed and repeated as the business grows. The idea of starting off lean allows so much room for optimization and minimized risks to a business owner.
Trend-based business models also have a need for diverse and united teams. As everyone is experiencing the business venture for the first time and not much is known about how to assuredly operate, having the skills, perspectives, and inputs of a talented team are imperative to the healthy formation of a new business.
Having a strong team also assists to boost morale, offer unique ways of thinking and creating, and considers varied ways of strategising. While chasing the trend, entrepreneurs should ensure that their product and service offerings are solving a real-world problem and providing consumers innovative value compared to existing offerings in the global marketplace.
When capitalising on trends, it’s important that we ask ourselves “Which trend is our friend?”. One of the safest ways to analyse trends and decide which are potentially fruitful opportunities is to look at historical industry trends. There have been several forms of industrial revolution, and concurrently several economic crashes and recessions due to industries collapsing. Factors like low regulation, currency fluctuation, political uprisings and societal tensions have all contributed to the crises seen throughout the world in the 20th century.
But we can still gather much from these historical events in deciding which trends are safe. For example, cryptocurrency is widely seen as both incredibly stable and completely unpredictable. No one can predict changes in the value unless public figures have acted in a way that might affect it.
Without obvious indicators, we can only observe the quality and promise of a crypto-currencies offerings, which means we can only take it on face value. This is the risk involved in entering the market of any new trend, and it may seem completely unsafe, but it isn’t and plenty of people have profited from skyrocketing trends over time.
Here are four helpful tips that are rules-of-thumb to capitalising on trends.
FOUR TIPS FOR TRENDS
You want to be known as the original. In the same way that when people use any ride share service, they call it ‘Ubering’. You should be an industry innovator and your competitive differentiation should be obvious to other market players or substitutes.
You set the tone of the industry. You’ll want your business to be trendsetting for the industry it’s situated in. People will look to you as inspiration and will credit you for changes in industry development as evidenced by your leadership, imitative and innovation.
You learn from other competitors what works and what doesn’t. Don’t waste time investing money in the wrong places. Most of understanding what works comes down to thorough research and due diligence, whether this is simply staying up to date with news, reports, and industry changes, to practical observation.
Don’t try anything twice unless you’ve made improvements. If you see the success of your trend and apply the same practices to your business operations, but don’t see great results, don’t force it. Each business has their own niche within the industries they operate. This is the biggest selling point to potential customers and consumers. Make sure you’re implementing improvements to every strategy to ensure your organisation can focus on the quality of its outputs and gain competitive advantage with it.
The most important thing to note is trends will die, but they also shape our futures. Trends will always be shifting, evolving, and expanding if economies exist. It’s imperative that you keep up with them so that your business can stay relevant, ahead of the game and be looked upon as industry leadership. Don’t compromise on the quality of your outputs while remaining competitive, and always make innovation your businesses top priority. Consumers will always go for the best option in terms of differentiation, relevance, and overall market superiority.
For additional readings that can help you research and evaluate trends we recommend IBIS World
By Rob Schafer – founder | chairman of mnm institute
LAUNCH & GROW YOUR STARTUP
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Starts 21 February 2022