The first step of smart business start-ups is to find a need to fill. If you have your finger on the pulse of popular trends, that part is already done for you and you can move on to the other aspects of your business.
So where do you find trends? How do you know what’s popular? How do you know what will be popular in the future?
This will make your job a lot easier.
Read the books written by Faith Popcorn. Faith Popcorn is one of the most famous trend experts in America. She has written a variety of books identifying and analyzing trends. A great introduction to her thinking is found in her 1998 book, Clicking: 17 Trends That Drive Your Business–And Your Life. The trends you read about there may have developed or evolved since that book but many of them are still quite accurate. Among her trend observations are the rise of the woman consumer as well as the concept of “cocooning” (which is reducing your outwardly social self to enjoy your life at home – a trend that includes home theatre, home decoration, and home improvement- three massive purchasing trends).
Now that you have a place to go where they are literally telling you the needs to be filled, you can develop your business plan around filling those needs. Here’s how:
- Identify the trend.
- List various purchases necessary for people to be a part of the trend.
- Does that trend’s demographic have the money to pay for the product? This is an important question because if you want to run a business but see an increasing trend in lower income families, you might be better off starting a non-profit organization than a for-profit business.
- What stage is the trend at right now? Early? Growth? Maturity? Decline? When are the anticipated dates for each of the following stages?
- Is there a product you can provide to be amongst those purchases? Is there a service you can provide to support the people in the trend?
Still not sure where to start? One trend you can’t deny is the age of the population. Statisticians estimate that by the year 2025, there will be twice as many people over 65 as there will be teenagers. As well, because of medical advancements today, many of those people over 65 will live to be 100 years old. The net worth of this group of people is valued in the trillions and many won’t have jobs and will be looking to spend that money on leisure activities, health therapies, and entertainment.
But you don’t have to wait until 2025 to start a business that serves this niche. On the contrary! Start today because that age group is already huge and will only grow. And, this age group likes the feeling of a trusted name in business so your business gains “trust currency” with each passing year. Start now to position yourself as the expert in the field so, by the time 2025 rolls around, you’ll have a powerful “read” on the market and a first-to-market advantage over many others who won’t notice this trend until 2020.