One of the toughest jobs for the small business owner is to look forward and try to determine what the future looks like. What are the trends that will impact my business, my customers, and my industry?
Ten years ago, futurist Mark Penn wrote his first book, “Microtrends”, that highlighted dozens of counterintuitive trends that were just beginning to have an impact on all aspects of our lives. Many of those trends have since come to fruition including Internet dating and the splits in both of our political parties.
Today, the world is even more complicated and Penn has updated his trends in his newest book, “Microtrends Squared”. The book contains trends impacting Love & Relationships, Health & Diet, Technology, Lifestyle, Politics, and Work & Business.
Thee are several trends identified in the book that I believe will have a direct impact on small business. They include the following:
- Guys Left Behind. American women are outpacing men in almost all ways. More healthy. Living longer. More educated.
- Droning On. Very few technologies have grown and developed faster than the drone.
- Virtual Entrepreneurs. While entrepreneurship as a whole is in the decline in the U.S., the number of online businesses is increasing dramatically.
- Microcapitalists. Their business is dispersing seed money in small parcels to entrepreneurs worldwide. Micro-financing.
- Work With Limits. Americans in the prime of their career choice to work part-time.
This is a very interesting read as the author devotes a short chapter to each microtrend offering hard data to support the advancement of each trend and shares many examples of each trend as well.
I highly recommend this book to every small business owner as you plan your way into the next 3-5 years.