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By; MyeshiBriley,MS,HS-BCP, Spring-Klein Chamber of Commerce President

When I think of the future of business, I often think of the Beatle song Revolution, but switch the word to evolution. You say you want evolution well you know, we all want to change the world.

The evolving business world is in a state of constant, acceleratedchange. In this variable market we must evolveor die.

  • Analyze the latest trends in your field.
  • Watch emerging products, methods, and businesses to integrate the effective ones into your own commerce.
  • Note the types of products startups are making or selling and the novel business models they’re using.
  • And, don’t hesitate to take calculated risk.

Arm yourself with these tactics to orchestrate a prosperous business in 2018.

The new generations, your new and future customers, insist on transparency and immediacy. Businesses of today, and even more so in the future, must aim for and hit the bulls eye on reputation, trust, and value. The customer experience, now called CX, is more vital than the products you are selling. Even now, Legacy brands are over taken by brands that capitalize on customer engagement and collaboration. In the future that trend will accelerate. Marketing, products, sales, service, support, CRM, R&D, and so on should be based on CX.

Retail establishments no longer wait for or even expect shoppers to come into their stores, Nowadays, many stores offer online purchase and immediate curbside pickup. Others push online check-ins, reservations, preorders, and drive-through serviceonce orders are placed online or on a mobile app,so consumers can duck crowds and long lines.And, many are trying same-day and Sunday delivery options.

The capacity for purchasing products and services without leaving the chat window will become the new standard for daily shopping. AI assistants like Microsoft Cortana, Google Now, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri will come to be part of the way we navigate life and work. Before long, the challenging and usually silly questions we ask Alexa and Siri, will be answered and answered correctly.

About 4.77 billion people will use smartphones by the start of 2018. Even now consumers check their smartphones and mobile devices numerous of times a day while multitasking. And buyers purchase items from digital magazines the instant they read about them. Shoppers scan virtual loyalty cards at the register. Consumers also tap their way to customize clothes and shoes while riding the bus or subway home.

Mobile customers will demand one-touch purchases, rapid-fire order placement and easy browse and buy capabilities. So more businesses will shift to portable domains. In fact, mobile-commerce is projected to grow into a $250 billion market by 2020. From websites to apps to commerce, a complete overhaul will occur. The web will be fully adapted to a mobile only world with a variety of screen sizes, operating systems and technical readouts.

Presently, retailers deliver coupons to customers’ phones when they pass nearby locations or approach competing chains. Soon those coupons will progress to AR (augmented reality) apps and and devices that overlay digital data on real-world scenes, directing buyers to local stores that have the merchandise they want, right when they are hunting for it.Also, wearable tech will deliver picture flash bargains or coupons right to your wrist.

If you haven’t already migrated your business to the cloud, keep in mind a third of all enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the world will move to the cloud by 2018. Also, big data will be bigger than ever and in all sectors, but the computer and electronic products and information sectors, as well as finance, insurance, and government will reap substantial gains from big data.

Blockchain technology will inspire worldwide financial organizations to rethink banking infrastructures. Nine in ten government organizations plan on investing in Blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance by 2018. Blockchain technology will empower new business models, mainly in contract management, financial transaction management and identity management.

3D printing now resolves issues and creates solutions in the fields of healthcare, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and more. It will soondisrupt supply chains. Brick and mortar establishments like home improvement, auto repair, and other service companies will handle personal applications whenit takes too long to get parts, or they’re too expensive or unobtainable.

Quantum computing applies calculations 100 million times as fast as today’s machines. AI sorts and assess information that humans might miss or never consider. IBM is now applying Watson to healthcare, finance and even cooking.

Even now this is leading to new treatments, products, services, and even recipes. Soon it will be applied to call center technology.

Drones will continue to revolutionize photography and videography but are moving into the areas of care, delivery, and exploration.Even now the startup Unblur Drone Business is focused entirely on drones and innovative technologies for emergency services. Also, Skyward, a start up that has now been acquired by Verizon, operates a drone operations management platform empowering businesses of all sizes to get out of the office and into the air. The ways in which drones are used in construction and agriculture grow more refined by the day. For example,Drone Deployhascreated real time mapping. Instead of uploading and processing drone data to a computer, their Field scanner tool captures a field map almost instantaneously as your drone is flying, so you can take action before it lands. Also, drones will make a striking impact on the future of the telecommunications industry.

It’s predicted that robots will begin taking over the workplace in 2018, especially in new start ups. Where we are at now is supervisory duties have shifted to measuring worker performance directly tied to output and customer evaluation. Where that is headed is that machines will accomplish those supervisory duties more effectively and efficiently. In many ways machines will supervise us. In addition, we must encourage our grade school children and grandchildren to look to computer proof and computer-partnered fields now. In the future scholastic and workplace education will formalize these types of careers and programs, and constant education will be required.

It isn’t just technology that’s changing,the way companies and people work is changing also. With a more plugged-in understanding of human nature, businesses will not only create a happier and more productive culture: they will benefit from empowered employees who will create more innovative products, services, and processes.

When we think of thepace of technological advances some of us are thinking of the time it took to reach big strides in the past. Keep in mind that new technology acceleratesadvances at a quickened pace. We need to be open to change and ready to use it to our advantage. What may seem like our imagination running wild might actually be reasonable and practical planning for the future. Some owners who launch business in 2018 will mostly likely one day have branches or outlets on mars or the moon, and in the lifetime of many of their owners.

The best advice I can give you is your future is what your mind can create; your heart will lead your mind to grow your dream.


July 6, 2017 |

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