Red Hot Future Business Trends

ball-article-620x349You’re on the right track if you can arrange instant delivery and your fans are health nut octogenarians.

reprinted from SMH / The Age / Brisbane Times / Canberra Times /Watoday

SMEs trading near-instant delivery of goods and services will power the business world circa 2030.

Extra marks if your biz plan will appeal to health-nut octogenarians and their older peers.

Start-ups will become more boutique and individualised as our taste for tailor-made products grows.

“The death of the gatekeeper is here,” any small business that only provides distribution interface between suppliers and consumers will eventually fail, says trends expert and author of Winning the Battle for Relevance, Michael McQueen.
Michael McQueen

Michael McQueen predicts the death of the gatekeeper.

“Any profession with the word agent, broker or adviser in particular, take heed,” he warns.

Fellow futurist Morris Miselowski also sees a bleak future for any trader who hasn’t at least entered the shallow end of the digital pool by now.

“2014 is a watershed year” and only those who use technology to enable “real-time” trade with consumers in a global market will survive, says the founder of Eye on the Future.

Morris Miselowski sees 2014 as a watershed year.

“This new [technological] world just won’t give them [SME owners] respite because the market is saying ‘I need to be able to do business right now and if I can’t do it with you, even though I may want to be loyal, I will have to move on’.
“For many small business owners it [the online world] feels like a foreign land, but you have to take baby steps now and grab on with best intent.

“Inertia will be the death knell of any business.”

So what will be the hottest industries in the future?

Service-related businesses will dominate at the cost of traditional manufacturing.

Start-ups will become more boutique and individualised as our taste for tailor-made products grows, McQueen says.

“An example of this is one Australian business named Schkinny Maninny who deliver fresh fruit and vegetable detox juices to clients’ doors every morning.

“While this may sound like an indulgent product, consider that many of the products and services we take for granted today were considered the same thing only a few years ago, such as boutique coffee and mobile phones.”
Medical devices, aged care, and health and wellness will have starring roles in the 2030 small business alumni.

As Australia’s baby boomers sidle up to old age, this generational shift brings big opportunities for SMEs, Miselowski says.

There are currently about 300 Australians aged 100-plus, reports the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It forecasts more than 72,000 centenarians by 2050.

Add to this the fact today’s life expectancy is about 82, according to the ABS – almost double what it was in 1864 (about 41), before modern technology was a twinkle in Gates/Jobs’ eyes – and Miselowski predicts babies born this century can live to 150.

“We have moved on from ideas of repairing our bodies to maintaining our bodies,” Miselowski says.

“Minute-by-minute insight of our bodies’ wellbeing will be gathered by our wearable health devices, analysed by our onboard technology … and, at our request, sent to health professionals for future insights, comments and suggestions.
“We’ll all be wearing these personal wellness computers and small businesses are exceptionally well placed to benefit from this trend.

“Many of the apps I see being developed for Google Glass, for example, are health and wellness apps designed by small businesses.”

Another trend Miselowski sees is more real-time service providers and solutions. Consumer purchase lead times are shrinking. Subsequently, more online temp jobs’ marketplaces will emerge to place traditionally salaried professionals with only hours’ pre-notice.

“A few years ago you may have booked a plumber and expected the service a week later, but in the future that consumer will expect it today and I see that as an opportunity.”

Mass production costs will be scrutinised as 3D printers descend on the retail, office, manufacturing and medical sectors, able to produce bespoke and one-off items on demand without the need for huge inventories and investment of time and resources, Miselowski says.

“These new 3D printers are the equivalent of the old dot-matrix printers of the 1980s, which were incredible devices in their day.”

Is your head spinning yet? Wondering where you’ll fit in tomorrow’s brave new business-world.

According to McQueen, the key to long-term survival for every profession and small biz is simple. It depends on showing how your venture adds value to consumers rather than simply adding “clip-of-the-ticket” costs to the supply chain.
An unforgettable point of difference is equally essential.

“The old marketing adage ‘it is better to be different than better’ will be truer in the coming years than ever before,” McQueen says.

“In an increasingly competitive marketplace those who are not remarkable will quickly become invisible.”


Eye on the Future - May 7, 2014 | Aged Care, All, Horizon Trends, Work
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