It’s that time again: when the pundits and experts roll out their lists of top business trends for the upcoming year.
US forecaster Small Business Labs lists these 10 top trends for small business in 2017:
- Digital transformation
- Cyber security and data privacy
- SME globalisation
- The million-dollar solopreneur
- Corporations embrace freelancers
- SMEs develop platform strategies
- Business coaches go mainstream
- “The New Better Off”
- Coconut everything
- President-Elect Donald Trump
Some of those are unsurprising. Digital transformation is affecting all businesses, cyber security and privacy are topics de jour, and we all know that SME globalisation is being fuelled by Amazon, Ebay and others driving down the costs, knowledge and effort associated with exporting.
But for Small Business Labs the most surprising research finding was how much successful small businesses are using coaches. “Due to the growing complexity of business and the rapid pace of change, coaching will become even more common as more SMBs [small and medium businesses] seek help on working through complex problems quickly,” they write.
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‘The million-dollar solopreneur’ refers to the rapidly growing numbers of people choosing to use outsourcing, contingent labor and internet services and platforms instead of traditional employees to build their businesses.
‘The New Better Off’ is the title of a new book that describes the new ways people are seeking happiness and fulfilment—an approach where “bigger isn’t always better, wealth isn’t equated with happiness and experiences are more important than things”.
And what’s with ‘coconut everything’?
“Evidently pretty much any food product you can think of—natural beauty products, flours, tortillas, chips, ice creams, butters and many more—will be coconutised and join coconut oil and coconut water as popular products in 2017,” according to Small Business Labs.
As for Donald Trump as a small business trend, it’s likely US small businesses are hopeful they will see reduced regulatory burdens, tax cuts and a more pro-business attitude under the Trump administration. At least that’s what he promised.