springwiseWe are religious readers of Springwise, which defines itself as “one of the world’s leading sources of new business ideas.”  Every week, they automatically send us blurbs about new business trends that have been identified by over 8,000 “spotters” worldwide. Recently, Springwise summed up its “Top 20 business ideas and opportunities for 2011.” There were some interesting findings.

First, seven of the 20 trends were related to electronic and/or social media. In other words, businesses using the power of the Internet, wireless devices, and mobile applications to communicate with current and potential customers. We point this out because so often, when we recommend to our clients how important it is to use these technologies consistently and effectively, they groan. Groan they may, but they’re missing the boat if they’re not communicating electronically with their constituents.

The second interesting thing was that five of the 20 trends were environmental or green initiatives. Not only that, the initiatives were customer friendly. In the past, many thought that being green meant giving up something.  Today’s trendsetting companies are reinterpreting what it means to be green.  Rather than making their customers give up something to be green, their giving their customers more than they expected.  These companies have figured out ways to serve their customers better than ever before by being more efficient, effective, targeted, customized, innovative, easy to patron, and friendly. They just happen to be green, too.

The third interesting thing is that 100 percent of all of the trendsetting companies are exceptional when it comes to communicating with their employees and customers. They have strong brands. They know exactly who they are as a company, so much so that the companies actually have a personality.  This makes it easy for employees to understand who they’re working for and to fall in step, and for customers to know who they’re buying from. This kind of familiarity leads to loyalty and that’s always critical for business. These trendsetting companies also put their messages out there and serve customers in a way that’s enthusiastic, competent, and welcoming. Their tones are different depending on their brand, but they are most definitely present and involved with their publics.

For more information about the Springwise trends for 2011, visit www.springwise.com/businessideas2011. See where or if your business is up with the times.

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