From crowdsourced shopping to mancessories to new ways to get green, Entrepreneur Magazine identified 10 trends that will define opportunity next year. Here is an excerpt from the December 2010 article.
1. ON THE VERGE: A burst of creativity ahead.
Eric Jackson, innovation specialist and VP of research and development at Gap International, a global management consulting firm in Philadelphia. “The world is screaming for innovation, and companies can capitalize on the resources they already have to spark the next possibilities.”
Since the financial crisis laid waste to business as usual, the world is brimming with potential. The economic future will be populated by the movers and shakers, who even now are poised for greatness.
2. IT’S BOOMERS (AGAIN ): They age. Opportunities bloom.
Whine all you want, Gen Y, but boomers are about to steal your spotlight. The 76 million-strong demographic is making headlines for providing a slew of market opportunities such as construction services that make homes more senior-friendly; supermarkets with lower shelves and wheelchair-compatible shopping carts; and sales and tech support by phone for seniors, by seniors.
3. GET PACKING: Travel and tourism take off.
A plethora of industry reports indicates that travel and tourism are back, and, by the end of 2011, will be better than ever. Revenue is expected to reach nearly $1.4 trillion, a record, says Toon van Beeck, senior analyst at research firm IBISWorld. This means the opportunity in the sector will be “the biggest it has ever been.”
Also, as the industry increasingly shifts online, opportunities are emerging with the smartphone app market and on websites.
4. SOCIAL SHOPPING: Click. Chat. Buy.
E-commerce has gone social. Nearly half of all Americans are now members of at least one social network and spending more money while they’re at it, double from just two years ago. Research shows that social media users spend, on average, one and a half times more time online than the typical web surfer. In fact, heavy Facebook users spent an average of $67 online during the first quarter of the year–compared with less than $50 for the general netizen, according to recent comScore research.
5 . HOME SWEET HOME: Repairs to renovations, wallets open.
As homeowners begin to take care of those leaky roofs and unfinished kitchen remodeling projects put off during the recession, the home improvement sector is off and running. It’s already been a good year–up 5 percent from 2009. The value of homeowner improvements is on track to top $117.6 billion in 2010 and $133.7 billion in 2011, according to IBISWorld. Retrofitting existing homes to meet energy-efficient standards should be a boon to business, too.
6. VITAL SIGNS: Healthcare’s new life.
In the U.S., 10 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are healthcare-related, and the industry will generate 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
“With costs on the rise and access to the healthcare system expanded, the technology and services sectors are poised for growth,” says Bob Higgins, Harvard business professor and partner of Highland Capital Partners, a Boston venture capital firm partnering with healthcare entrepreneurs. “We’re aggressively seeking innovative IT solutions that improve quality while decreasing cost.”
7. WHO’S YOUR DADDY? The age of man.
Get ready: Mancessorizing is the wave of the future.The men’s lifestyle market is stronger than ever, bolstered by everything from bacon-flavored toothpicks and shape wear to streamline beer bellies and “moobs” to handmade machinist shirts and “men-only” RVs with an inflatable blowup doll (it comes standard, according to Trend Hunter online magazine).
Online newsletters and websites like UrbanDaddy and Thrillist, which feature products and services that cater to this youngish, educated, more affluent demographic, are a hit with readers. UrbanDaddy is closing in on 2 million subscribers, and Thrillist is already at 2.25 million.
8. MICRO GREEN: Energy efficient goes small.
Bust out the recycle bins and reusable packaging. If you’re not thinking about all the ways to go green, you’re way behind the curve. Sure, clean-tech has been the darling of the venture capital community for a few years now. But sustainable profitability is the catchphrase these days, says Micah Kotch, director of operations of New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy. “The climate piece is secondary,” he says. “The bottom line drives business decisions, and the recent rise of green business accelerators illustrates this phenomenon.” Best of all, plenty of clean-tech companies are trying to make money by saving other businesses money.
9. GREAT EXPECTATIONS: Craving affordable luxuries.
There’s no doubt that the recession has created a more selective, value-conscious consumer. And retailers, hungry for sales, have fostered that by conditioning shoppers to expect great products and services at reasonable prices. Those expectations will remain.
Retailers, hungry for sales, are satisfying shoppers’ desire for great products and services at reasonable prices. eSalon offers salon-quality, at-home hair color. Many budget hotels are pouring money into renovations and added amenities to capitalize on the moderately priced luxury market. More fashion designers are now offering “bridge lines,” or lower-tier collections, for a fraction of the price. Many premium wine brands are also offering value options.
10. LET’S GET PHYSICAL: Fitness flexes market muscle.
More and more folks are pursuing easy, inexpensive ways to work out–and, in the process, they’re powering a boom in the fitness sector. The stats are impressive. Fitness clubs and health stores are now a $41.4 billion industry–muscling up $1 billion from a year ago. Gym memberships have increased steadily throughout the recession–of the 45.3 million health club members, more than 10 million of them joined in 2009, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.
Small-group personal training will thrive in 2011 with two to six people sharing one trainer to cut costs. As people continue to spend cautiously, working out at home becomes more popular, too. And the recent onslaught of low-cost iPhone fitness apps like iFitness and iWeight Deluxe adds to the ease of staying healthy away from the gym.
Click here to read the full article in Entrepreneur Magazine by Jennifer Wang and Kara Ohngren. .
Written by Leslee Vivian Leslee Vivian is a professional writer specializing in employee recognition. She blogs for Power2Motivate®, the On-Demand service that helps companies recognize, motivate, train and reward their employees.