The expression, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is still so true.
Given the scope of how things have changed in our business world and life, it is also true that fundamentals and values get you through anything. There is a right way and best way to conduct ourselves and do things that is common sense and timeless. A foundation of best practices and fundamentals is the best way to start and grow your professional life. Professional qualities never go out of style.
So, although times do change the fundamentals always work in changing times.
We need to make sure we are incorporating them into our business growth and practices and use them to keep us on the beam.
Here are Five Essential Business Fundamentals You Can Count on to Keep Changing.
Demographics and Psychographics
We are a family of 5 generations at the moment:
- Gen Z or Centennials born 1996 and later
- Millennials or Gen Y born 1977 to 1995
- Generation X born 1965 to 1976
- Baby Boomers born 1946 to 1964
- Traditionalists or Silent Generation born 1945 and before
All the generations are intertwined, representational of valuable ideas and cultures and contribute in many ways.
Over the next few decades the majority of US population growth will reflect new Asian and Hispanic immigration. Getting to know as much as we can about each one of the generations, as active consumers and marketing to them requires different approaches and points of view. Generations create the demographic trends driving all aspects of family, lifestyle, business and culture. Baby Boomers continue to drive trends as they will live well into their later years, but Millennials are growing into prominence. According to the UN Population Division, 1 in 5 people are expected to be 65+ by 2035.
Demographics tell us who consumer are with regard to age, race and religion, but psychographics tell us about their lifestyle, habits and attitudes. Both give us the information we need to craft targeted, smart and effective communications and marketing campaigns.
A tried and true rule to follow has always been: “know thy customer” and speak directly to them.
Business Tools and Resources
This area of change is by far the most stunning and significant. The web, online and social media are the communication systems and hubs for connecting and sharing both one on one and to the many. This change in access has created an immediacy and real time ability to share information that is vital to how we live, learn and conduct and do business.
These tools and resources from the SBA , provide information, procedures and requirements to start, grow and run a business. Google is the 8th wonder of the world and is the most active and valuable search and delivery system we use. Whatever you want to know and whatever you want people to know about you can be found here. Google loves content, so the more you create and publish consistently, the more Google will pick you up as people search for information.
Social Media and Marketing For Your Business
The tools and platforms today, allow any small business or consultant to promote, engage and educate most of the time for free. Be an early adopter of social media and get involved with writing, communications and creating content. As social media platforms evolve and unfold, they are now the norms and hubs for businesses, groups and communities to gather, engage, learn and interact.
An up to date web presence, including a website, professional Linkedin account, Facebook and Twitter profiles, a blog and email marketing activities are standards for marketing yourself and your business. Not everyone needs a full blown website. There are many small businesses that use different web platforms today to have a web presence. Use the platforms that make the best sense for you and your customers.
Try to Choose Top Categories of Small Business
There are several categories of business that are universal and timeless no matter how much things change. They are products and services that we all need and use on a daily basis.
Choosing the right business category is one of the most important aspects of starting and growing a business. What are the best and most successful categories of businesses? Here are the top 15, including accounting, management services, real estate, auto, legal services and many more.
If you already have a proven expertise you can use that for a successful business idea. It can be a niche but it is essential to learn all the aspects of starting, running and growing a business. The sophistication and expertise it takes especially today is critical. Research your local market and make sure there is a market for your idea.
Why Start a Business?
“Don’t romanticize, professionalize starting a business.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the idea, but the reality is it’s one of the hardest jobs there is. There are several skills sets that are key including time management, organization, trend management, sales, marketing and networking to name just a few. Make sure you honestly and rigorously self evaluate, discuss with qualified family, friends and colleagues who either have done it or are working in business.
The success rate for small business is improving but still challenging. The great news is the rate at which American employers go under has fallen by 30 percent since 1977. According to the SBA: about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years.
Ask yourself why you really want to be in business. Do you have the entrepreneurial qualities to take on the challenge, responsibilities and commitment? Do your due diligence, be very honest and create a strong support system.
Get used to change. Change is a door. Change is inevitable. Change is exciting.
Use change to impact success and embrace it as part of the adventure. Prepare for change and become a change expert and agent. Anticipate change by staying rigorously up to date on trends.
One of the best trend sites is Trendwatching.com.
Check out the Abba Virtual experience Tour, “a groundbreaking and exciting venture that will utilize the very latest in digital and virtual-reality technology, which will enable a new generation of fans to see, hear, and feel ABBA in a way previously unimagined” planned for 2018.
This is what is possible today, so be very encouraged that you can be successful if you set yourself up to be.
Number 5 Photo via Shutterstock