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The top 10 business trends of 2014

With the ever-changing business landscape, it is interesting to know the latest and most promising business trends to date. Entrepreneurs should take note of the following developments for their own benefit.
By Renz Lyndon Paguio |
The top 10 business trends of 2014

What’s up in the business landscape? With the changing demands and preferences of consumers coupled with the changes in the business and political environment, it can be a real challenge for entrepreneurs to cope with the times. The business climate modifies itself from time to time.

JAD Group of Companies Chairman and Ateneo Professor Francisco “Jay” Bernardo III talked about what he thinks are the top business trends for this year. During the recent Business Startup Conference held at the SM Megamall last May 9, he enumerated the ten trends that entrepreneurs should be aware of these days.


1.     ASEAN Integration

It refers to the agreement of the South East Asian countries to adapt a single timetable for education and economic programs. The approval for moving of opening of classes from June to August is seen as part of this development. Free trade is also set to take effect in the region, opening up greater opportunities and more competition within Southeast Asia.
 
2.    Localization goes global

There is a need to promote a product of a local market before presenting it to the global stage. “This can be a big boost on the economy of a locality. Look for local products that have potential for exportation, build the goods’ reputation in the locale, then grab the chance to introduce it to the global market,” said Bernardo. The mangoes of Guimaras and the coffees of Batangas are a few examples he cited.

3.    Travel

Travelling has become more and more affordable to everybody. Bernardo gave an idea to new entrepreneurs: the opportunities lie on getting business ideas from other countries and bringing those to the Philippines.

4.    Battle for the Filipino palate

Filipinos love to eat and entrepreneurs know it. Travel around the world or even just around the country to discover new techniques in cooking. There are also new ingredients and condiments to spice up your dishes. Bernardo shared this advice: “Give the customers something new to eat.”

5.    ’Pop-uplification’

Businesses that keep popping out in different venues and stage areas. Gone are the days of renting a place for months or a year, these places will host different kinds of business every day. It’s for the benefit of consumers of course. Examples of these are concert events and bazaars.

“The 21st century family,” Bernardo asserted, “is bounded by technology. Physically, they are sitting on one couch, but mentally they’re separated.” Most consumers today are looking for products online. This opens opportunities to more entrepreneurs.

6.    E-Commerce

The idea of e-commerce is still relatively new in the Philippines, but this trend continuously rises.  Many Filipinos are now aiming to grab the opportunity to use the Internet in making a profit. Websites like OLX.ph (formerly Sulit.ph) and AyosDito.ph are starting to dominate the online buy and sell transactions in the country.

7.    Mobile

“A few years from now, everything will shift to mobile,” said Bernardo. In utilizing this trend, entrepreneurs will have to consider developing and selling mobile applications to earn profit online.

8.    Creating your own story

Aside from social media websites, blogs are becoming effective venues for posting of one’s status and rants. Believe it or not blogs can earn you money. Tell your story, create your own show. Start by creating your own blog and write something that can capture the imagination of your audiences. Sponsors will flood your e-mail with request for a space on your blog and before you know it, you’re earning a significant amount. Bernardo just reminded bloggers to regularly update their sites to retain readers’ interest.

9.    Visual content

Filipinos have become more visual as of late, as indicated with their heavy use of YouTube and the huge volume of uploaded pictures in Facebook and Instagram. Aside from story blogs, video blogs are also taking the Internet by storm. Many popular celebrities were discovered when their pictures and videos were posted online (like Charice Pempengco and the comic Moymoy Palaboy who were discovered in YouTube). Bernardo advised online entrepreneurs to always remember to put a visual content to ensure success.

10.    Big data

This business trend refers to the gathering of all information online and narrowing it down to smaller ones. According to Bernardo, having specific data can lead people to make inquiries, which can possibly translate to actual sales. People have become more digital-oriented. “Professors have now become facilitators. We are not the source of knowledge anymore. They get more information in the internet” said Bernardo.

Moreover, entrepreneurs must learn to adapt to the new trends for their businesses to flourish. The digital and online age has actually begun. “Explore the internet. Tinker with technology. Tap into the energy of employees and customers. Learn with technology the way people live with it,” said Bernardo.

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