10 Business Trends All Ontario Businesses Should Know About
2017 is in full swing, which means many businesses are scurrying to adapt and adopt the latest business trends of the year. There’s still a ways to go before the year ends, but if you are like many Ontario businesses and want to get on board the trendy bandwagon, now’s the time.
What does the year have in store for us? In short, a lot. This year’s business trends continue a long march towards technology, social media, and the need to adapt to these changes in order to survive.
If you want to learn all about the top 10 business trends for 2017, read on.
Top 10 Trends for Ontario Businesses
2017 is the year of solidification. Technologies that were new just a couple years ago are becoming commonplace. The necessity to use these technologies is becoming hard to ignore.
This is a make or break year for many Ontario businesses struggling to adapt to these changes. If you find yourself in this mix, now is the time to act.
Mobile Is a Must
Mobile itself is not a trend. Instead, the necessity for a mobile business presence is the trend.
If you are still debating whether to update your website from the 1990s, your time is running out. 2017 is the point of no return for most businesses, especially brick-and-mortar stores. Being able to cater to the mobile habits of all age groups is required these days.
This goes beyond just having a mobile friendly website. Mobile commerce must be a part of your business. At the very least, be able to accept the most popular forms of mobile payment.
The Internet of Things Is Here
If you’re looking for a technological trend to get on this year, the Internet of Things is a good start. This is the next evolution where virtually any device can be connected to the Internet to exchange information without human input. Even appliances like refrigerators and toasters are being connected.
There are two ways to get in on this trend. First, if you sell devices, you can turn your attention to the types of devices that fit in this category. Second, there are many business-related devices that exist.
Even something as simple as including tablets into a brick-and-mortar store can count. This trend can help streamline your logistical operations while making your business more efficient and effective.
Subject Matter Expertise
Traditional marketing is either dead or changing. The new trend for effective marketing is content marketing. You need to give something of worth to potential customers.
One of the best ways to do this is through subject matter expertise. If you have a business that exists in a specific niche, you can offer information related to that niche that customers may find useful.
Ontario businesses that are able to distinguish themselves from competitors through this expertise stand out. The best part is, you don’t have to spend thousands or millions of dollars to get noticed through traditional advertising anymore.
Being a subject matter expert means you can establish a community of loyal followers and consumers around your brand.
Location Marketing Is Growing
2017 is one of the first years where technology is going back to local Ontario businesses. Whereas social media and online marketing have favoured e-commerce, services like Four Square and the prevalence of GPS have made it possible to market based on location.
Often, this means creating specific ads or content to be delivered based on a person’s location. Since many smartphones have a consistent GPS presence, it’s possible for brick-and-mortar stores to specifically target online users in their location with these types of advertising.
This strategy helps Ontario businesses ensure that their marketing efforts are going to the people who are close.
Remote Work Is Becoming a Norm
One trend that is hard to accept for many people, businesses and individuals alike, is that remote work is becoming more popular. The internet makes it possible to do work of all types from across the globe. Even brick-and-mortar stores can benefit from having a few positions dedicated to remote work.
Virtually any kind social media or online marketing position can be done from home. Anything that doesn’t require a physical presence in office or store can also have an online component.
More importantly, job seekers these days are looking for these kinds of positions. If you want to be competitive when seeking out new talent, having these kinds of positions can be attractive to job seekers.
Millennials Are Becoming Leaders
The time of underestimating the millennial generation is coming to a close. Millennials are no longer the new kids on the block that have something to prove. The prevalence of social media and new startups or crowdfunding projects is evidence of this. Most of these kinds of projects come from the youthful creativity of the millennial mind.
Since 10% of millennials are still unemployed, it’s important to realize the contribution millennials could have on your business world. This means taking millennials seriously.
More importantly, it means recognizing how millennials can fit within the leadership structure of the business. They are becoming leaders and they have a lot to offer. Ignoring this trend will only put you behind the times.
Gen Z Is Joining the Millennials
Millennials aren’t even the youngest generation anymore. This spot has now been taken up by generation Z, the children of older millennials and generation X. Right now, they are the teenagers and college students getting ready to enter the job market.
This means that you have to incorporate a business model for generation Z. Not only are they gonna become the next wave of employees, but there are already consumers that are defining and changing certain industries.
The way they use technology and respond to advertisements is different even from the millennial generation. Knowing this generation and how to communicate with them is going to keep many Ontario businesses ahead of the curve.
Cybersecurity Is A Must
As technology becomes more prevalent and popular, security is also a major importance. In 2017, this is even more true with the prevalence of the Internet of Things and mobile technology.
It’s becoming easier and easier for hackers to get access to the sensitive information of customers. Many Ontario businesses have failed to keep up with the demand for more protection and security. If your business is one of these, it’s time to update your customer protection.
E-commerce and mobile shopping are only going to increase in popularity over the next few years. Customers expect a high-level of security if they’re going to stick with any business for the long-term.
E-commerce Is Competitive
E-commerce was once a unique, almost fantasy-like trend when the internet first came popular. These days, however, it has become the norm. More importantly, in 2017, it has become competitive.
An online presence is a requirement for successful businesses, big or small. Being able to do business online is even more important.
The thing that is changing this year is the competition. Since everyone needs to be online, businesses need to have a way to stand out above the rest. E-commerce has become a crowded marketplace that brings together many Ontario businesses of all industries.
In order to stand out, you need to make sure that you are providing something unique to customers. Whether it’s a quality experience, great content, and excellent online community, or something that truly breaks the mold, uniqueness, and individuality is how you will survive.
Survival Requires Change
The final business trend of 2017 is rather simple on paper, yet difficult to execute. For all the Ontario businesses that have been resisting the change and have been clinging to the old, traditional ways of doing things, 2017 is your deadline.
The business landscape has changed so much that not adapting is cause to get you thrown out of the room. You need to be able to compete with companies who have long embraced new technology like social media and e-commerce to even have a chance.
This is the year to take stock of where your business is, especially with its online presence. Start with the website, look at your social media presence, and evaluate how all of this ties in with your business model. The model itself might be in need of updating if you believe the typical brick-and-mortar experience is enough to get by.
If anything else, this is the year to begin the slow process of change. You don’t have to fix and alter everything at once. Sometimes, baby steps are enough.
The important part is taking the steps in the first place
Adapting to many of these changes will require a little bit of planning and action. Most importantly, persistence is key. If things don’t work out initially, continue to try until they do.
These trends represent a shifting paradigm for many Ontario businesses. Technology is obviously here to stay, but it’s going to be more integrated into how businesses operate.