When we start to think about starting a business, there are so many things to consider. What are the steps to become legal? What are the proper filings I have to complete when established? How will I ever leave my job to go off on my own? Do I have what it takes?
There is so much to think about in order to be fully prepared to begin your venture. One thing you must evaluate is whether or not your business is part of a fad or a trend in the industry. This can be a difficult decision to make. That is why doing your research is so important to becoming a successful business operation.
In order to really know if your business is going to be able to support you and your family for the long haul is to understand the definition of a fad and the definition of a trend. According to www.yourdictionary.com, a fad is “something that people are interested in for a short period of time.” At the time, it is desirable to have this product or service, and just as quickly as it comes in, it goes right out.
Some examples of fads are drive-in movie theaters, telephone booths, video-game arcades, video stores, roller-skating rinks, and of course products like Cabbage Patch Kids, virtual pets, and the fanny pack. You have to take into consideration the industry that you want to break into. Technology changed the way we communicate, hence the telephone booth not being used anymore. The way in which we watch movies has changed also, rendering video stores out of date. And, virtual gaming is a huge deal so arcades are not as popular to hang out in anymore.
You have to be willing to see the industry trends and growth to fully understand if you can maintain a sustainable business for the future. A trend is ongoing. Industry trends help to merge and develop new business concepts. Key questions include: How is the consumer looking to spend their money? What is important to the buyer?
Chris Malta, CEO of WorldwideBrands.com says, “Based on buyer lifestyles, trends move with rhyme and reason, and tend to progress and morph over time, rather than abruptly disappear.” Trends set the tone for what is to come. In our society, much more has been focused on healthy living, eco-friendly products, and e-commerce. Businesses with a brick-and-mortar presence have to have a bigger draw for the customer to come in more than ever before. Online shopping has been a fast-growing trend that makes products and services a click of a button away. Convenience is the way of the future. Food delivery is not just about getting take-out any longer. The new trend is healthy, good-for-you meals. Hence the growth of Blue Apron, Plated, and other meal-preparation businesses that deliver to your doorstep.
Now for the big question, how do you know if your business is a fad or a trend?
Know your industry. Start reading about the predictions for your industry from the experts. Evaluate and keep evaluating every year. Know the track in which your business could be heading. You have to have a clear definition of what you will offer to your customer and how you will continue to meet the demands of that customer. Understanding your market is a huge factor for any small business. Who are your customers, where and how will they get your product and service? Having a good, solid business plan that is well developed will help to reduce your risks when starting a new business venture.
A business plan will tell you if your business is sustainable for years to come. When you are developing a business plan, the market research will forecast your longevity for the business. A business plan is ever-changing and you have to be willing to think outside the box, evolve, come up with new solutions to new problems that arise throughout the path your business takes, and be ready for unpredictable things that might occur.
That sounds daunting, but it is so important to your success to stay aware of the current trends in your industry, in society, and in the future marketplace. After all your research and development, you will be able to distinguish between a fad and a trend and if your business will take you through the long haul.
This article published in the BJNN on February 17, 2018
Melissa Zomro Davis is an Advanced Certified Business Advisor at the SBDC located at OCC Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org