Here are my predictions about how major economic and political changes will affect how you run your business, who and what you sell, how you price, and how you deliver your products in the coming months and years.
Trend # 1 – fewer people spending money on big ticket items – The economic downturn has wrung a lot of wealth out of a lot of people, and as a consequence, fewer people have the ability (or credit rating) to buy large ticket items.
This will average fewer sales of new cars, boats, RVs, expensive homes, in addition as fewer sales of high end electronics and most luxury items in general. already those that do nevertheless have money, will be reluctant to use it.
For product developers like you and I, it method the days of finding plenty of customers willing and able to pay several thousands of dollars for products, or workshops, or consulting, are in the past.
Now, and in the future, the growth will be in moderately or lower priced – already no frills – products, workshops and sets. If you haven’t already, consider adding these kinds of entry level products into your product mix.
Trend # 2 – more people will be looking for other ways to earn income from home – the economic downturn has removed much of the earning strength of people who until recently had plenty of money flowing in. Now, due to job losses or salary reductions, the income of many consumers has been drastically reduced.
To keep speed with their debt and spending obligations, many of these consumers will seek out alternate ways to generate income, especially ways to generate income online (which is one of the most shared ‘wants’ these days).
This desire and need to learn ways to generate income will accelerate the need for quality tools, training and sets which help people generate income.
Products in need will include easy-to-use software tools that create ‘moment businesses’, training courses, consulting sets, marketing sets, web development sets, assistance in setting up web payment sets.
Trend # 3 – many people who expected to retire won’t be able to and will be forced to seek ways to generate income – the 80 million baby boomers who were starting to reach retirement age are discovering they can no longer provide to retire due to losses in real estate, losses in the stock market, losses of pension and retirement income.
This creates a huge number of people who now have to seek out ways to earn money – at a time when there are fewer and fewer jobs obtainable.
As with trend # 2 above, this will increase the need for quality tools, training and sets to assist those who want to learn to earn money.
Products in need will include training, business franchises, turn-meaningful businesses, business start up tools, and just about anything else that helps build income.
Trend # 4 – more government regulation, rules, taxes and fees – as local, state and federal governments look for ways to generate revenue lost due to the economic downturn, they are turning to new or increased taxes, fees, rules and regulations.
These fees and taxes will almost assuredly raise the cost of doing business in addition as reduce the amount of disposable income obtainable to business owners in addition as consumers.
Additionally, the federal government has begun changing the rules of the game, stepping in and seizing income from Internet businesses, regulating private business pay, and is likely to begin stringently enforcing the collection of taxes from Internet sales and transactions.
These federal and tax changes are not going to make small business happy, and are likely to excursion large businesses off shore to more business friendly countries, while driving many small businesses into the underground economy.
I expect the government to begin taking a close look at, and possibly seizing unreported income stored at Pay-Pal and similar online payment processors.
As these trend shakes out, be careful about reporting income, be careful about maintaining large balances at online edges and PayPal, and try to keep a low profile regarding business earnings and activities.
Trend # 5 – More than ever, people will follow (or at the minimum do more to get closer to) their dream – during tough economic times, when people become frustrated with the economy, the news, and their government, they become already more focused on following their dreams.
In fact they might say, ‘lets just walk away from it all, and do that at any rate we’ve always dreamed of doing’.
Whether people truly walk away from their jobs, debts and worries to follow their dreams or not, they will use time and money researching the steps needed to follow their dreams.
These days, the #1 dream seems to be – escape.
Whether in a motor-home, a boat, on a Harley, or a bicycle, the big dream is to drop out for a few years, and escape the economic downturn by pursuing an adventure of some kind.
Products related to following dreams, whether they be newsletters, videos, DVDs, workshops, internships, web sites or work-cations, are likely to be growth areas in the coming years.
Trend # 6 – being a part of something with like minded people – as the world and the rules of business and economy change around us, people will seek out private enclaves of like minded people that they can talk with, learn from, proportion opinions and ideas, and perhaps proportion adventures.
This will average some people will truly seek out these communities in real life (like the island I live on), but most will seek out and participate in these communities online.
Private, members only discussion forums will likely see major growth, especially those related to ‘following the dream’ topics.
These forums will be the ‘happy place’ many people will be able to ‘escape to’, to be around others who proportion the dream.
These will be the places people can close out the bad news in their life and in the world, and surround themselves with others pursuing the ‘good life’ of their dreams.
A good strategy will be to own and function some of these ‘happy place’ escape forums that help people follow their dream. Whether supported by member subscriptions or Google ad revenues, these can be a successful business in the coming years.
The Future is now, and it is complete of changes
The economy will retrieve, but life after the recovery will be different than it was before the downturn.
Consumers who were hurt in the economic downturn, will be more cautious, more likely to conserve their income, and more interested in ways to supplement their earnings.
Many will be seeking a more rewarding, less risky and less expensive lifestyle.
This doesn’t average spending will come to an end.
It just method what people are going to be doing with their money will be different.
This won’t be bad – as long as you prepare for the new realities, and adjust your business and sets to meet the changed world we live in.