The “Happy About” 2006 Business Trends

We continue with our 2006 trends round-ups.

The following list of top ten trends for 2006 comes courtesy of Happy About Corporation. Every year they have put out a list of top ten trends with input from executives from various industries. (They even rate the accuracy of past years’ predictions, which is a pretty interesting exercise in its own right.)

For now, here is the list of Happy About’s top ten trends for 2006:

1 – Energy issues take a front burner on the world stage.

      Implications of this trend: alternative forms of energy will be the next big thing. They claim we will need to watch out for a potential recession in 2007, although I am not sure how a recession can be predicted so far in advance.

2 – The Internet’s democratization effect expands to traditional media. This trend is all about using blogs, podcasts and even videoblogs, with the claim made that “if you are not personally or professionally using this technology, you’re behind the times.”

3 – Marketing expenditures and activities continue to shift to the Internet. Search engine marketing will be where it is at, suggesting that businesses need to buy Google and Yahoo Overture keyword advertising.

4 – China’s continued growth significantly affects world commerce. “Do you speak Mandarin :)” is the comment for this trend. Enough said.

5 – Outsourcing continues to expand to other sectors of the economy. They suggest that offshore outsourcing is not cooling off (as some other predictions have suggested), but keeps growing.

6 – Services continue to play a bigger role in Western economies. This is a trend I wholeheartedly agree with as impacting the small business market in a big way. Happy About suggests that software as a service is a key trend and to incorporate recurring revenue streams into your business model. Those are messages we too have been preaching here at Small Business Trends for some time.

7 – Usage and proliferation of mobile commerce expands. Portable devices such as cell phones will soon be able to conduct commerce.

8 – Adoption of VOIP continues. “Unified” communications systems are the word here. That means that telephone service, voice mail, email and other Website communications all will work together seamlessly.

9 – Employer/employee relationships strengthen for the first time in years. The word with this trend is that employee retention becomes important again. While I would like to agree with this one, I am not sure I see the external signs of this happening in a big way.

10 – Security and privacy issues raise their heads again. Cybercrime will only get worse, and security firms will be in even greater demand.

You can read more in-depth insights about each of these trends by downloading the Executive Summary (PDF). Leave a comment below as to whether you agree with these trends, or not.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

2 Reactions
  1. Nice… I hope the prediction on the forseen strengthening relationship between employer and employee will not just be a hear say.