Where will your business be in the year 2020?

  photo by jurvetson

I don’t have a  jetpack yet – but maybe by 2020 I will!

Imagine 2020…1/5 of the way through the 21st century!  It’s only 10 short years from now, but just think about the astounding changes that have happened in the last 10 years! 

Facebook didn’t exist 10 years ago.  Wireless phones could access the internet…kind of…if you were willing to wait a long time and didn’t care what it looked like.  You still had to go out to a video store if you wanted to watch a movie…and it wouldn’t be high def!

But where will you…and your business be in ten years?

I started thinking about this because of a really interesting report that was released a few days ago called the Intuit 2020 Report – Twenty Trends that will shape the next Decade.  Obviously sponsored by Intuit, it was compiled by a company called Emergent Research.

A lot of the conclusions are pretty natural extensions of the trends that we’re seeing today, but that doesn’t make them any less compelling as you think about what those outcomes would actually mean as things ramp up towards 2020.

Here are few of the highlights I found interesting:

7. Localism Creates a New Way of Life

Work-life balance will no longer be a myth, but a reality as people invest in the places they live to make them better, forging new communities.  This weave of community fabric will see people re-establishing stronger ties with family, friends and community spawning local economic development in new dynamic ways.

I don’t know if I buy into the conclusion, but you can definitely see a trend towards less travel, less need to relocate and people choosing to live and work near family because they can now (when previously technology or expectations wouldn’t let them).

9. Customers Control the Relationship

The balance of power will shift from the business to the marketplace as customers grow more informed about products and services.  With this shift from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ marketing, companies won’t find their customers, their customers will find them.

I think this shift is already well upon us.  I hear from a lot of business owners that marketing and sales tactics that used to work aren’t doing nearly as well.  On the flip side, you can see success stories of companies who are visible online, have a story to tell and great customer support are knocking it out of the park (Blendtec, Zappos or Squishable).

15. Niche Markets Flourish in the New Economy

Consumers will demand unique, niche products and services and businesses will have the means to deliver them driven in part by the vast reach of the Internet and low cost tools and materials.  Availability of niche products will be accessible anytime, anywhere due to the expansive reach of the internet and social media.

It was tough to have a really narrow specific niche product if you had to count on your customers physically being in your area.  With the expansion of the internet, the ease of rolling out a new business online and lots of people looking for something new, different or just interesting to them…the possibilities are endless!

There’s a lot of great information in this report – what stood out for you?  Share your thoughts in the comments below and let’s get a discussion started!

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach

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