The beginning of a new year is a great time to think about small business trends for 2015. For me, last year ended and the new year began with travel. Travel always changes me. Being away gives me a new perspective on daily tasks. I meet new people whose thoughts and conversations give me food for thought. I see how small business owners make things happen in their part of the world.
What are the small business trends you see for yourself in 2015? Since I spent the week of Christmas with my best friend since 8th grade who is himself an entrepreneur, we talked trends. Here's what I see for me:
- I love the consulting and coaching that I do, but I don't want to hassle with clients who do not follow through. And while I am generous with my time with many people who ask, I probably need to charge more for my consulting services. Trend: Sharpen my focus to ideal clients and review what I charge.
- The back end of running a mostly online business has become overwhelming, and I'm not one to use that word often. In fact, I don't even believe in overwhelm. But the truth is, the tech knowledge required to handle your business's back end is far more complicated now than it was even a year ago AND it never stops upgrading and changing. Trend: Either drastically simplify away from tech and back to local networking, or hire even more team members to help manage all of it (thus the need to raise your prices before you even see an increase in your own income).
- Because of #2 I personally need to unplug more often during each week and have more time away throughout the year. I've worked too much and too hard the past 3 years without truly unplugging for 3 or 4 days at a time. Between my own business, working with Ali Brown's Elevate program as a coach, and rehabbing my leg almost constantly I have really put in countless hours without a break. I've been really tired and didn't even know it. TREND: Shorter but more frequent down time instead of long journeys from which it is almost impossible to recuperate work-wise.
- Drop what isn't working. There's lots of talk these days about blogging being dead. Michael Hyatt went so far as to cease even taking comments on his blog last week. Blogging can work still if it is extremely narrowly focused, like Trudy Scott's blog. But for biz strategists like me trolling for comments isn't working. Better to write and publish the content as many other places as possible along with parking it on your blog. And don't measure your blog's success by how many comments you get anymore. It's all about the views for most of us. Blogging can be very time consuming for what you get from it. Creating a blog in the “new way” of written content PLUS video PLUS MP3 audio-only PLUS a strong graphic takes technology and time far more than writing a quick blog post used to take. It's a day-long production to get all that done! TREND: Use your content in multiple ways and evaluate if blogging even works for you at all.
- I see more contentiousness in the online world, something I really do not like. The increasingly harsh and non-peaceful world is not healthy for me or for anyone else. Part of my life has to be about adding peace to the world, person by person, day by day. TREND: Let your business reflect your values and serve as a platform for the impact you want to have on your culture. It truly isn't all about the money.
What are the small business trends you see for yourself in 2015? I'd love to hear them!