Do you wish you had a crystal ball to select the next “hot trend” for your business? It’s easy to find information about trends in business and what is hot, but proceed with caution before incorporating these into your business. First, there is a difference between a “hot trend,” and being “hot and trendy.” Consider the stages of market acceptance and benefits of trends, and evaluate your current and potential customers to see how they may benefit from something new.
Second, evaluate trends on a national, regional and local level. What may be hot in one area may not necessarily be so in another. As an example, water management product development and services are indeed a hot and valid trend in business, but the customer needs vary greatly from one region of the country to another. Make sure you consider successes in each region of the country to identify what is working, and where it is working. Then see if and how you can incorporate new ideas into your business. Also, make sure you consider national regulations and restrictions!
Third, consider what alternatives are already available in the market. Early on, many questioned the sustainability of the growth of coffee establishments, but this trend has withstood the test of time and customer acceptance. The convenience of having exceptional coffee without the effort apparently IS worth the price! It is an ongoing, daily need for many consumers, and the market supports those that deliver exceptional product for price. Conversely, other businesses that may only be utilized once or twice, not regularly may not be “bad” business ideas, but extra thought, market development, and consideration of other services will be needed to ensure a successful business. One example that quickly comes to mind is the “wine and art” or “make your own pottery” model. How often will an individual consumer use these businesses? How large of a market will there need to be to actually make this type of business viable in the long term?
New trends are vital for owners to be aware of and potentially implement after careful consideration. Hot and trendy ideas may get business owners burned!