4 trends you need to know about driving growth in 2017

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As companies begin to think more like their customers, and ideas spread across industries faster, it’s important to be aware that consumers are actively comparing and contrasting business performance when making a decision on where to spend their money. With today’s consumer now looking for control and convenience over their time, money and space companies will be challenged to react to market trends quickly and effectively. In this post, I’ve identified 4 areas that we see playing an important role in defining company strategy in 2017. This is based on findings of a white paper produced by White Space agency.

  1. New pricing and ownership models

 

Thanks to Spotify, Netflix and Zipcar who took this ownership model mainstream we are now able to purchase products that were expensive, or used infrequently on a need to want basis. Research has also shown that this of particular attraction to millennial consumers who have less space and money and can see the benefits to removing the burden of ownership. There is also a growing trend in subscription services that provide us with the basics, including; coffee, razor blades and underwear, which saves the consumer time and offers that all important convenience factor. Where it is possible to offer this kind of service companies will be able to maintain value to the customer, and nurture long-term relationships with individuals. Despite the expense of changing pricing models for an established company, I believe it’s worthwhile for companies looking to determine whether products should be marketed and sold as a service, or promote the value of ownership as identify.

 

  1. Energy Storage

 

Fully expect to see lots of changes in the area of renewable and energy storage this year. This shift comes as policy changes to the feed-in-tariff and a fall in the price of renewable energy below the level of oil and gas, contributing to the reduction in the installation of renewables throughout the UK. This being the case you may see those type of companies switch sales strategies and seek alternative revenue streams once Ofgem sets clear guidelines for ‘energy generation’ going forward. The reduction in price to energy storage has opened doors for businesses operating in this space to tackle the issue of whether energy storage units are appropriate for them, or if there is an opportunity to lease additional storage space to the National Grid to enable them to reduce peak demand.

 

  1. Customer Service Automation

 

The power of good customer service will give businesses the power to increase acquisition, retention and encourage brand loyalty. As mentioned earlier the high expectations of today’s consumer now demands an easy, effective and emotive service at their convenience. And with companies like Amazon and Uber leading the way on change, it’s not how well established you are, but how well you adopt new technologies that allow for easy and effective customer service. This means stripping back those long and complicated menu systems and replacing it with voice recognition software that can help people get where they need to go quicker.

Companies who can capitalise on this trend and look for data and ways to problem-solve in real-time, linking up different channels, through one seamless approach will reap great rewards.

 

  1. New Payment Methods

 

Don’t expect to see new technology go viral, but there is good reason to believe there will be improvements in the way payments are currently taken, and opportunities for gathering additional consumer rich data that will provide useful insight to companies looking to strengthen internal analytics functions, and be better prepared. It’s thought that this year will be one of rapid innovation, marked by increasingly sophisticated payment-based data and biometric payments.  For example, you can now confirm your identity by looking at your eyes through a camera on a mobile phone – a technology developed by ‘EyeVerify’ and already being used by early adopters such as Mastercard and Atom Bank. With these targeted payment technology options available, suppliers and retailers can now plan on how they will use the data collected from these streams to improve and add value to the customer experience and be different.

 

Conclusion
As the boundaries between different types of companies become blurred, and the consumer draws comparison from companies across sectors with keywords such as speed and convenience drawing their attention. It’s vital for the established companies including supermarkets, utilities providers and those in the financial sector to identify the trends and take action on market demands to avoid the risk of being left behind.

The importance of personal development

Personal development is one of my favourite things to study in the whole world. If you’re not growing ask yourself this; ‘Are you still alive?’ Living life ‘safe’ does nothing, but prevent us from experiencing the best life has to offer. So many choose to live from a place of fear, to protect the little that they have; but it’s only when we venture out into the deep unknown that we’ll find the EXTRA on the ordinary forms of life – The secret to living a BIG life is to go on the adventure.

Mission Possible

What if you could achieve the impossible? What would that be for you? I love the fact that Felix Baumgartner from Austria broke the record for the highest jump – from the edge of the earth, and broke the speed of sound barrier on his way down.

I’m sure there were many thousands of people who said this wasn’t possible, but Felix and his team dared to believe it was, and the pursued it.

You may not have such extreme dreams, (if there is such a thing) but I do believe as Walt Disney once said, ‘the proof of the desire is in the pursuit.”

So let’s explore this for a second. In order for Flexi, and the team to achieve this dream, there was a list of requirements set:

Seven Years worth of time, mental preparation, finance investment, planning, testing and all before executing.

As he mentions halfway through this interview, ‘they had a plan and they stuck to it.’ He went on to explain how they had a list of what if’s that when he reached the edge of space, if anything was to pop up that wasn’t in their plan, the jump would be aborted. They thought of everything, from the second the parachute would be released, and had a purpose for every decision made.

This may sound like a lot of work, but it surprises me just how many people fail to set a plan in place, even though I myself have not yet achieved the goals I have set for my own life – This I do know. The more specific you can be, the more likely you are to hit the target. That is what Felix and his team did; and that is why they managed to achieve their desired outcome.

In the interview below, Felix was asked what went through his mind when he reached the top and was about to jump. He said he became humble adding; “Sometimes you have to go up high, to understand how small you really are.”

You don’t even need to go to the edge of space to get this revelation. I got this revelation as I left on my own for New York, for the first time. Although, there is a certain profoundness that is added to such revelation when it comes from a man who’s just jumped 128k from space.

If I do nothing back make you think today, then I’ve done this post justice. I hope you will do something good with this encouragement, and I hope that you can see that if you are a person, ‘who doesn’t see the point in making plans’ then you already did, ‘you made a plan to fail.’

Improve your growth strategy and business development plan with three gold nuggets

If I had to choose one word, it would be GROWTH

A business who stays the same year in year out and refused to change with the times, misses out on reaching their full potential because they never dared to step out and see what would happen if they…

So here’s a few points that I think are important when it comes to growing in an area that is of importance to you – Be it business, or life.

1. Growth requires vision – Without a vision for where you want to go, or what you want to see happen you can grow, but without a clear vision or strategy, you will grow wild and grow aimless. Think of the tomato plant, (I’m not a gardener so I could be completely off here, but my uncle has his own garden, which is where I get this analogy from). The tomato tree has to be encouraged in its growth, by inserting a vertical bamboo stick to support its growth. According to my tomato plant advisor, they also need a bigger plant pot – room to grow.

2. Growth requires pain – In addition to having the ability to see the end result first, you must also understand that growth requires pain. From the moment a baby is conceived in the mother’s womb, the baby begins to grow and grow, and grow until he/she reaches the age 21. Growing pains are a part of life, and they are also a part of any healthy growing business, project or relationship. I hear personal trainers all the time say, ‘No pain no gain’ – And they’re spot on. So in any kind of growth, be prepared for some muscle pain.

3. Growth is intentional

Growth doesn’t just happen. It’s intentional and it often requires a group of like-minded people.

When you feel stretched, your natural body wants to give up, but your mind can pull you through. Making changes in a department that has remained the same for the last twenty years will be tough, and in some cases will be too much if you are the one person in your business that has big vision – It takes a team in most cases, sharing the load means the pain is equally spread on impact, which will enable you to keep pressing through the resistance.

If you found this post useful, and you have a business, project or plan that you would like to see growth we recommend you jump on over to our sister teaching/training course Tailor Made Social, who specialize in helping small businesses grow online. Online is one of the booming areas in our economy, so if you own a business, or involved with a charity, or would even just like to invest in your own personal development, then we highly recommend that you check this site out for some great cost effective help with your online profile.

Alternatively, you can talk to one of our guys over at @TailorMSocial who will do their best to answer any questions you may have.