17 Essential Business Trends From 2016 To Help You Plan a Successful 2017

The business world is changing.

If you aren’t informed, you may be left behind. To avoid that, let’s consider a few of these essential trends.

The 2016 business trend is a reflection of the previous predictions made by firms and individual contributors.

Such predictions cover a broad range of areas with technology taking the top rank in the expansion of communication and the general business economy.

Over the past years, the business community has tremendously shown the changing trends with each year drawing an apparent show of diversity. The uniqueness of each year’s business innovations determines the success of the economy.

I have seen companies struggle to embrace new technologies and creative customer-focused marketing approaches with greater determination to take the lead.

Every company employs best practices that would influence its stability positives. These are just but ways of riding to the highest cliffs of the business economy. Sometimes I like the way each year comes with its surprises.

If you own a company, you can only profit if you keep matching with the constantly changing waves of new technologies and marketing opportunities. Only wake entrepreneurs make it to the top.

I did some analysis based on the previous years’ trends and came up with some findings.

The factors below have contributed to the success of most businesses in 2016. Some reflect the company’s’ innovations while others tracts complementary approaches into the mainstream.

Technological Factors Influencing Business Trends in 2016

1. The Internet

With the increasing supplies of the internet to most companies and individuals in the societies, the business community has taken fast opportune in spearheading their business agenda through online platforms.

When compared with the previous decades, the business trend in 2016 and a few past years have shown a greater success due to increased sales and marketing online advantage era.

Internet-based technological advancement has ensured faster and efficient innovation/sale of new brands, exchange of business knowledge or experiences and active online client engagement.

Just like big and booming businesses, small tech businesses have an equal advantage of accessing excellent web tools and utilize them to solve issues affecting their trends in the current market.

From the research done by Independent We Stand (IWS) campaign, up to 97% of the web users utilize internet information to do product analysis before they buy them.

Irrespective of this finding, the Local Search Association Insider Report, communication has between business owners, and clients is a significant barrier since slightly below half the number of companies do not own websites where they can actively engage with customers.

The best way to curb this is through the adoption of internet tech-systems, that is, owning a blog or a clean website to make services available to people. It will consequently support faster and effective communication within the business communities. Social media platform is the significant technological advancement, which supports online marketing and e-business: website users to explore markets available across the globe. It helps to maintain progressive online business deals.

Entrepreneurs can likewise outsource work they battle with or don’t have time for. 99 Dollar Social presents crisp substance on a business’ online networking pages every day.

More so, Hootsuite conveys propelled web-based social networking advancement instruments like the capacity to calendar posts over various stages inside a single dashboard.

Holding nothing back one administration like Infusionsoft, which creates customized advertising programming for private companies, and Yodle, which keeps up a business’ online nearness, help independent ventures including arrangement setting to web-based social networking.


2. Online Business Exchange Services

Unlike the past decades, e-commerce has significantly been on the rise. It is the most adopted system, which allows customers to purchase goods and services online without any physical touch.

It has considerably contributed to globalization and a positive trend in the business community.

Most customers like exploring online sales services and settle for the best package with a considerable discount, especially on the shipping or transportation cost.

A customer for a US based product located in Africa will go for the cheapest offers to save finances. The storefronts offer room for smooth online commerce. When given best discounts, for instance, in shipping fee, clients would always want to do more shopping than ever.

What is the best choice for the internet tools?

Some of the best web tools to help you create and advance your online small business include Shopify and Magento. And you can use WordPress to create blogs that promotes your small business.

The best and affordable tool for the starters and small e-commerce owners who have a limited budget is 3Dcarts.

It offers sustainable solutions for the newbies. The Vend, a sale system provides mobile managed online cloud storage for any e-commerce business in a short time.

In addition to this, online business is also possible through mobile devices. Clients with mobile devices enabled with m-commerce services have the advantage of making safe online purchase orders for items.

This is clearly indicated by Forrester report, showing that mobile transactions only have the potential to bring up to $142 billion, which is predicted to surpass $600 by 2017.


3. Business Intelligence Software

We have a broad range of software available for both small and large e-commerce enterprises, but business intelligence software beats them all. It collects sorted statistics and decodes it to simple language that you can utilize in advancing your transactions.

Most small businesses with problems in managing big data should take advantage of Business Intelligence software to sort, keep and translate large quantities of data.

The top enterprise dashboards, for instance, Cyfe generates timely, progressive data analysis and evaluation.

Most large enterprises require the dashboards to customize marketing analytics, social media analysis and improve the website’s rankings through search engine optimization (SEO).

However, the micro-businesses need Business Intelligence (BI) software more than any other does.


4. Millenials

Are you ready for the estimated 80 million millennials in the US alone, that believes in spending money on what makes them happy?

This modern generation is making a positive progress towards enhancing a sustainable economy. Most efforts made include stage-managing workplaces and workers playing various roles.

The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation report analyses the social-economic effects caused by the young millennial generation aged between 1982 and 1999.

For them, their ambitions revolve around creating a conducive working environment, detailed leadership models and the new ventures within their scope of work, proper teamwork mechanisms, transparency, and accountability for them to succeed.

Consequently, the millennial generation tends to move with faster speed to adjust to the new tech-advancement, which is speedily replacing the old working mechanisms. So far, things have changed with a faster change in technology.

Communication has taken a new direction from one-way exchange of messages to a multifaceted system, 24/7 hour live online chats between e-commerce owners and prospective buyers. In fact, 60% of millennials send and receive text messages.

In most cases, up to 86% of the new generation can analytically make observations through online questionnaires, which they often pose to their customers to gather their opinions or views after the purchase of their products and services.

For business people from the millennial era, the ability to spread data is prime. Millennials also are more aware of the social obligation exhibited via their personnel or employers.

For them to keep that impeccable working environment, they constantly seek for people and workplaces with shared ethics and ideals.

They are often attracted to virtual websites that are interactive. For example, ClickMeeting, WorkflowMax and Memit. This shows the major strides that businesses will experience.


5. E-Loans

According to one of the Harvard business scholarly paper titled “The State of Small Enterprise Lending,” which scrutinizes one of the giant developments for micro-business online credit.

This progressive trend in small enterprise lending is pushed by using the “simplicity and convenience of the application technique, velocity of shipping of capital and a more consciousness on client support.”

Whilst conventional banks take small enterprise lending as high-risk, many lenders offer to fund small entrepreneurial startups.

Some specialized lending services are accessible for those with small enterprises.

We have Biz2Credit, Prosper Fundera and lending club, which facilitates Peer-to-Peer loaning between the awarding microfinance organization and the particular receiver businesses through advanced online marketing sites.

Due to the enactment of business startups Act of 2012, the business trend has taken a different direction to adapting the “Online Crowdfunding” opportunities.

It is a marketing strategy commonly done through popular sites such as Indiegogo, Kickstarter & fundable and Angellist.


6. Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) Payment Security

In 2016, the EMV payment security has been recognized as critical to entrepreneurial transactions.

The United States national transition to EMV payment standards, also known as microchip debit and credit cards is very crucial to provide full security to their users against any scam.

Due to the massive data breaches and increased cases of fake credit cards, the United States took the forefront in giving directives to the implementation of EMV cards – to minimize cases of fraudulent transactions in October 2015.

However, some revelations by Creditcards.com indicates that only 25 % of debit cards in the US possess chips. Direct exchange of finances on the purchase of items is risky without the usage of the credit cards.

It also indicates that up to 12 million sales systems are yet to be EMV enabled to counteract fraudulent activities.

According to Finance Magnates, the micro-enterprises transacting through the old models are up to 100% responsible for any financial fraud or mismanagement.


7. Expansion of Opportunities With The Gig Economy

Gig economy has been realized to increasingly creating more opportunities for people, with an estimated 34% of the American workers benefiting from the online writing jobs in the previous year. Interestingly, 66% of freelancers want more pay and benefits.

Gig economy is rising to higher cliffs and advancing the freelance systems to minimize challenges and to sustain its economy bench-line continuously.

Technology has continuously been supportive to freelance projects as most of its systems are entirely dependent on high tech online and remote models for them to be effective.

The cheaper cloud computing customized working systems and the application of business-based innovations for sole workers has kept gigging trend on the rise.

All these items compounded together have substantially contributed to the steady sustainability of freelance projects in 2016 and the past few years.


8. Data Excessively Becoming Bulky

2016 is the year with increased number of companies generating a lot more data than before.

Companies keep competitions high when it comes to client search and traffic. They collect more data as they keep aiming to gain more traction for their brands.

This trend of generating large data is expected to rise by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23% annually through 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The report submitted by Forbes reveals that just 15% of Fortune 500 companies are utilizing huge data management systems.

Though this big data is considered inappropriate to small enterprise systems, there is a finding shared by one trade organization report indicating the rise of small enterprises pumping in substantial quantities of assets into it.

Meaning that they will have to advance higher for them to have a comprehensive system to monitor client activities and other entrepreneurial processes for them to be on par with large companies.


9. Social Media Sales Go Mainstream

The 2016 brand sellers have emphasized more on social media engagements with their customers for higher sales and increasing of web traffic.

It’s a way of passing messages more efficiently, and keeping customers on toes. A few survey research reports indicate a rise in social media merchandise selling brands:

  • 79% of company sales workers utilize social platforms to market their products.
  • 65% of customers make informed decisions on the purchase of items
  • 53% get advice from the peers.

While these trends are expected to go up, the kind of messages and posts to be tailored for customers remains critical for the business selling success.

Only quality and exciting information catch the attention of clients online, meaning the brand sellers must be ahead of everything to implement various tricks to increase traffic, which will consequently maintain the rising trend of online selling.

For small businesses to continue to exploit and subdue online marketing opportunities, patience in designing their sales tricks becomes critical. It takes a while for an enterprise to rise and mature and sell their products better.

Customers need very convincing and well-coordinated information about the product to be sold before they take the initiative of buying them.

Only enterprises with creative content and advanced information-sharing tactics will carry the day.

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10. Medium of Exchange

The way business is being conducted today has changed drastically. In regards to the way, the exchange of goods and services takes place today.

A long time ago the medium used to be through postal letters but today that has been overtaken by events.

The dynamics of change have transferred selling and buying of goods and services into the click of a button.

Either on the computer or the phone. Research conducted by comScore indicate that over 11% of the population that logs on to the internet use mobile devices.

The proliferation of internet websites and applications to shop online has changed the marketing landscape.

Applications such as Whatsapp have a following of over 1 Billion monthly active users, in over 170 countries worldwide. Trust me, businesses with such a broad global audience is done through the click of a button.

Users interact with others in the groups.

Those who want to take pictures of their products and post to members can do it right on Whatsapp. Customers have a one-on-one interaction with the seller. Communication is through texting in real-time. After Facebook Group purchased WhatsApp for $19billion, change of ownership meant that the monthly members increased and engagements increased tremendously.

A new development has been extended to WhatsApp, so that new members can even call colleagues and have real time interaction.

Other platforms such as Skype, enables users to chat, stream live interaction, and see the other person at the other end of the communication device.

The technological landscape is slowly making communication easier and effective. Increased use of platforms such as WhatsApp is making more companies reach a wider clientele base easier.


11. Transport

Transport is the vital component in the business world today. The shifts in customers, goods, and services have been of utmost importance in today’s business.

The increase in innovation concerning transport sector gives a competitive advantage in the market.

Companies like Google have gone to the extent of creating self-driving cars that are computer aided. The transport sector deals with many logistics of management.

Different sectors control various sizes of fleets but in the entire main thing that remains consistent is the fact that every business wants to improve.

Every business wants to be ahead. The competition forces the transport sector to mutate to favor the market player.

The emergence of transportation services such as Uber has affected the way business is conducted today.

Clients no longer have to wait for bus transport to convey goods from Point A to Point B. All that’s required is a touchscreen phone. Once you dial the number, you’ll get a transport within minutes.

Uber which started its operations about seven years ago has been expanding both monetary wise and geographically.

The motion of goods and services is at a faster, efficient and safer pace. Giving a clear indication that the business landscape in 2016 has improved to an upward shift.

Use of taxis and services in business, which as far as Uber is concerned, has spread over 65 countries globally. Sources indicate that a further $1.5billion is supposed to be injected into the company for expansion purposes.

Uber transportation model trends are being duplicated elsewhere in the world. The improved transportation has a diverse effect on the population at a totality from the increased accessibility of business ventures.

The government also gains from the improved system by to collecting more revenue. The impact of more revenue to the people is better infrastructure and the growth of more industries.

Moreover, there are reduced transportation and operations costs; which is a key driver towards economic growth.

Technology has also been incorporated in the transport sector via the use of GPS tracking. The inclusivity of GPS maps in vehicles makes traveling to new destinations easier.

The screen mounted on the vehicle uses the satellite navigation system to send signals back and forth during the journey.

This gives real-time feedback on the onboard computer. The driver will be able to view the places where the journey covers.

Business has been enhanced since direction towards clients to deliver goods is no issue at all. Corporate are finding it easy regarding sales and marketing.

Even in sourcing for newer markets, the satellite navigation has come in handy in a big way. Improved GPS system means more sales especially to manufacturers of the onboard computers and navigation system.

An improved Navigation system is also of vital use to the police officers. In the case of an incidence, tracking a vehicle that has done an offense is through the GPS tracking. A better and safer community influences the business positively.

Other Innovations

Technology in business is rapidly changing the environment.

In business, technological advancement is the main component as far as creativity in the market is concerned.

Companies that are not in a position to adapt to new methods of technology have difficulties in surviving the market.

The stagnation of a company’s research and innovation can make its future shaky. Innovation is a tool used to trounce the competition. Different fields have different arch rivals, and so for the business to stay afloat, innovative new ideas are a necessity.

Does the company where you work has mechanisms in place to enhance creativity and innovation? It is a question that has been asked by many working people.

Moreover, the answer to the above question gives you an idea of the plan plan that the owners of different businesses should have. Innovation is part of the solution, which is the driving force of the future of the business.

Wishful thinking that innovation will come by easily is misguided. The above requires strategy and planning and consultations that are to the best details.

In the current business world, creativity is part of the innovative process. An inflow and outflow of ideas and concepts should be encouraged by the company.

Exploration of brand new ideas in the business is the way forward for the business. The outcome of the diversity in a broader perspective will help in dealing with incoming challenges that the organization will face.

The productivity of the business grows tremendously when new ideas are brought forward. Workers are to be supported regarding coming up with new insights into various situations.

The zeal to motivate them places the business in a better position as a far as the market is concerned.

Data collected has shown that despite innovation being a key driver of business success, few organizations and directors of companies can make it happen. The outcome of this is that there is a slow growth rate of the business.

In innovation, so many devices have been created. But the most notable one is the hoverboard – which is used for playing and recreation. Another dramatic innovation is the ever-changing trends in bigger and better phones.

Samsung and iPhone engineers are always competing on the global stage. The advent of front camera on phones gave rise to the selfie generation. 2016 has been that year where selfies have been taken a lot.

Phones such as Samsung Galaxy 7 were released this year, thereby increasing the global dominance of Samsung. Manufacturers of the phone integrates so many new advancements like the eye sensor detector for unlocking the phone.

Dedicated mobile apps for small businesses has gone mainstream

Dedicated mobile apps take the upper hand as the most desirable tools for faster and effective marketing.

This applies to both local clients and the business managers. The mobile apps in most cases are meant for enhanced enterprises. However, the newly established businesses can now take advantage of suitable apps like Microsoft PowerApps and Buildfire.com, which do not require any technical expertise. They can be utilized in a wide range of devices such as Androids, Kindle, iOs and some Windows mobile devices.

While this may sound a bit technical to some users, it is more convenient as one can easily communicate through a single-click-to-voice or live chats similar to that of Agora.io technology.

If you are a manager for small enterprise, this model of technology is a better deal for coordinating working schedules among your staff members.

The other possible high-tech models is that of Hello Talk Company, which has adopted the Agora.io’s innovations to provide an easy way of learning the language to interested clients across the globe.

It is simply a lingual-multidisciplinary learning app, which brings people of different languages together with the course of exchanging language skills. It is a universal application accessible to those with interest to study different languages.

The big question here is, “how can this affect your small enterprise?”

Yes, to those who want to advance your customer support services, this probably becomes the best innovation to adopt.

It offers you a platform to easily reach out to your clients in a more personal manner and to build your credibility.


Online-Customer Relationship Management

For any business to succeed there ought to be an effective and smooth client communication strategy.

Every business deal to be signed between the customer and the business owner depends on the interaction and general orientation of the product.

A more advanced Customer Relationship Management model allows room for customers to have access to a variety of services.

Some packages such as Salesforce, Insightly, and OnePage CRM are now the most popular products used to capture client information – including the response rates and client demographic data, which is then entered into sales software to give a reflection of the current marketing demands.


Expanding The Business

Every customer has a different expectation to small businesses, but it is a fact that majority of consumers will intend to go for medium sized or small enterprises for convenience.

Unlike huge business enterprises with high standards, the small businesses ensure close customer interactions and efficient service delivery.

Consumers will always go for small businesses but still benefit from low cost items that promises a faster and effective product delivery.

It has now become a norm for businesses in 2016 to focus on what the consumer wants. The large retail enterprises are in a continuous struggle to keep the consumer demands within their means.

2016 is believed to be the year of the free cloud administration stage. Autonomous cloud administration frameworks permit SMBs to effectively bridle the readiness and comfort offered by people in general cloud.

This pattern will see more SMBs increasing their dependence on the general population cloud for their registering needs and thus observe less processing servers conveyed inside workplaces and their related server farms.

Free cloud administration frameworks will likewise permit SMB to lessen their on location IT costs by empowering for the relocation off exorbitant VMware stages to more financially savvy hypervisor stages like Microsoft Hyper-V. — Jay Litkey, president and author of Embotics

In 2016, openness to enormous information has achieved a record-breaking high, and to contend with popular stores, independent venture proprietors are RSVPing to the huge information party.

Private ventures have two roads to tackle huge information: oversaw administrations and advertising mists. Overseen administrations include one-on-one collaboration with information deals agent.

While the data generated from such a relationship can be to a great degree significant, some independent ventures discover the expenses to be huge as well.

Promoting mists that incorporate access to and the capacity to work with enormous information have the minimal effort of the section, straightforward UIs and implicit applications that permit even beginner advertisers to execute complex multi-channel showcasing effort.

Not just have nourishment trucks made a respectable road for culinary specialists to dispatch a vocation, yet more vitally they have demonstrated that going versatile is a practical plan of action.

This has generated various thoughts. For example, pet prepping, salons and barbershops, dentistry and retail treatments.

Everybody is presently looking long and hard at run of the mill physical organizations and imagining them as a portable choice. — Kush Kapila, originator, and CEO of Sterlings Mobile.

Acquisition strategies are changing at the nearby and national level with a more grounded fondness for private ventures.

A few bills are gliding in Congress that will improve private company contracts. Also, numerous states, groups and foundations—healing facilities, colleges—have ordered approaches to get locally; some even have built-up edges and commands.

At the Federal level, the Federal Bill measure H.R. 4341, otherwise known as the Defending America’s Small Contractors Act of 2016, got consistent board [support] and is presently moving to the full House of Representatives for thought.

Lyneir Richardson, official chief of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers.


One-Click Interactive Engagement

Many scholarly research reports indicate that the average concentration of human mind is currently 8 sec, which is a significant drop from the previous attention span of 12 sec as recorded in 2000.

This phenomenon is widely supported by scientists who reveal that the rise of modesty communication devices has significantly been found to reduce the human attention span.

The introduction of smart mobile devices is the contributing factor to the low rate of concentration. Hence, many firms should focus more on the gaming activities that catch most the consumers’ attention.

The young dot.com generation also known as “millennial” can spend a substantial amount of time with their smartphones – playing fun games and listening to music.

In 2016 the focus on the current marketing trend revolves around designing of these communication gadgets to actively engage with the millennial generation, who make a significant contribution to any business development.

While games can be either electronic games or traditional games, the most pertinent issue is making them enticing and catchy to draw and retain their attention for a while.

However, when focusing on fun and gaming, the ultimate goal for the enterprise should be tailored to achieving desirable results.


Integration of Content Marketing Goes Mainstream

Consumers are usually not moved by what the peers inform them of a particular product in the market. but on what they can read

The sellers might not reach every individual with the product package, more often than not, they’ll convince the target consumers.

This is a vivid indication that there will be more sells if small businesses invested more on producing relevant and valuable content to engage their customers. Although producing enough targeted content is the number 1 business challenge.

Most customers will often enjoy when they have access to information online and have freedom to explore different contents to make informed decisions on what they should purchase.

This is where invaluable content becomes crucial if you want to build a loyal audience and thrive in today’s business world.

Compelling content will give your clients the opportunity to know more about your brand, and why they should do business with you.

It helps to support clients to settle on fair business deals. Marcus Sheridan, founder of TheSalesLion, has used content to build a multimillion dollar company.

In his words, “The top companies reflect an image of being the best service providers based on what they do, but smart companies will always invest in integrating relevant and valuable content to help consumers make informed decisions before purchasing a particular product.”

According to Content Marketing Institute, approximately 88% of businesses use content marketing.

Content creation has been on the rise worldwide, with freelancing companies taking the better portion in the ranking. Companies such Writer Bay, Upwork, Freelancer, just to mention a few have evolved rapidly in organisation and content structure.

Website owners looking for content have the option to either create it in-house or outsource to professional freelance writers.

With this in mind, 2016 becomes the best transitional year for sales marketing trends as realized in most companies.


A New Way To Generate Revenue

It’s evident that currently there is a new shifting trend facilitated by investors in pumping resources and build a culture that will help you generate more revenue with your content.

The report generated by New York Times Bestselling Author, J. Baer indicates that $9 billion is spent on customer support services and $500 billion on annual marketing.

This is evidence that many businesses are not working towards client retention, but only concentrate on customer awareness on the availability of certain products in the market.



This is a risky trend to be looked at or examined. More consumer retention approaches will ensure rapid growth of individual enterprises, and may be the only viable way to expand more opportunities to people across the globe.

Robert Richman, the author of Culture Blueprint and former Culture Strategist for Zappos, identifies the need to nurture organizational culture through maintaining internal systems and consistently involving the staff team in brainstorming and spearheading organizational issues but not by imposing information on them.

Consequently, paying more attention to customer service brings a new experience in merchandise performance, which Walker noted that by 2020, only the buyers’ experience will be crucial than the value of the product you are marketing.

Generally, 2016 is a transitional year with many changes being observed across many sectors.

Ian Blair :BuildFire Co-Founder. I'm a digital marketer by trade and an entrepreneur at heart. I'm here to help businesses go mobile and build apps more efficiently than before.