Imagine a world where …
That’s the way a recent report I read started out. The Intuit 2020 Report: Twenty Trends That Will Shape The Next Decade is a great read, and brings up a wide array of ideas that will impact business in the future. Some are fairly easy to predict:
Customers control the relationship
Some may bring up ideas you’ve never though about:
Work shifts from full time to free agent employment
And some are in between:
Niche markets flourish in the new economy
If you currently run a business, you know times are changing. And in order to remain successful, you have to change along with it. Even if you are successful today, without watching what’s happening in the economy can be the death of your business in just a few short months. Which is why I love to keep a handle on future predictions, to see what leading thinkers in the world predict, and how I can stay on top of those predictions.
Lets take a look at 4 of the predictions within this report, and see how they can affect your photography business in the future.
It’s a She-conomy
Its predicted that 870 million women globally who have not previously participated in the mainstream economy will gain employment or start their own businesses by 2020. 47 million will come from North America, Western Europe and Japan, with the rest coming from nonindustrialized countries.
Women will dominate college graduation rates and professional workforce entry, expanding into all areas of work, management and technology. They will look for flexibility as they remain connected to families and children at home, and the needs of creating an income.
This also means they will be looking for services that cater to them. I featured Christina Morassi about a year ago, and her idea rings even stronger today. As women become more active in business, they need to develop a stronger persona around their ideas and concepts. What better way than to create a personalized photo shoot that builds confidence as it creates dynamic images that will help them attract new clients into their businesses?
Customers Control the Relationship
It’s hard to ignore this one, because so much of it is already in play. But as we continue over the next two years, control will continue to be given to consumers in large part because of the flexibility of the Internet.
If you haven’t already done so, its time to realize that social media is a part of your business life. Whether you do something right or something wrong, consumers are ready and waiting to give life to a great story. They Tweet, they Facebook, and they take pictures and video to post on everything from Flickr to YouTube.
In the future, as a business owner, you need to harness this energy and learn to share in the successes with others online. Transparency will be the key buzzword in the future, making sure your business stays on track with everything it does.
Localism Creates a New Way of Life
This one will be huge in the coming years. As economic strains, job loss and health care needs continue to put strains on people, they will revert to older ways of community, friends and family support. We’ll begin to see more multigenerational households, and families relying on each other for childcare, eldercare and everything in between.
And because we know today’s baby boomers control close to 77 percent of the financial wealth in America (with similar situations throughout the world), who we target and how we do so will continue to change.
If you’re still targeting the young crowd – twenty-something getting married and having babies, maybe you can change the way you approach your clientele. Instead of the new mom, maybe the new grandma would be perfect as a client. Not only can you sell a variety of baby images and brag books, but you can also move quickly into family portraiture as the “grandma” will have many kids, grandkids and friends and neighbors to show your work off to.
Niche Markets Flourish in the New Economy
A growing global middle class will greatly increase the number of consumers purchasing unique, unusual, personalized or locally produced products. Add into that the expansive reach of the Internet, social media and online search will greatly increase the number of viable niche market opportunities.
And because you can now start a viable business on a shoestring budget, and take it anywhere in the world, anything is possible. Including something as simple as blogging about your life (check out this post where I give some great examples).
With the world quickly approaching 7 billion, there are many people ready and willing to follow you and learn from you. Focus is the key as you decide what you want to do, and how you’ll approach those that want what you have to offer.
Are you ready for the next 10 years? How are you using tools like this Intuit report to build a business plan for the coming years? I’d love to hear from you below in the comments.