8 Future Business Trends You Need to Know About

By Thomas O’Malley

Regardless of your industry, it’s important for your business to keep up with the latest trends in technology and the economy. If you fail to take action, you’ll fall behind your competitors. If you stay ahead of the curve, however, you can maintain an edge and keep your business in the healthy “thrive” position.

With that in mind, here are eight trends that everyone should know about — and keep up with.

1. Advancing of Emerging Countries

“Emerging economies are catching up with the progress of the advanced world and are predicted to overtake many of them by 2020,” writes Julia Hawley for Investopedia. “This will cause a substantial shift in the balance of economic power around the world.”

Currently, the top economic powerhouses in the world are the United States, China, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, India, Brazil, Italy and Russia. By 2020, the world’s top economies will be China, the U.S., India, Japan, Russia, Germany, Brazil, the U.K., France and Mexico thanks to the fact that “advanced economies are mature markets that are slowing.”

Hawley states that the implications of this shift will include a rise in household income and population growth which “will present exponential opportunities in emerging markets,” such as luxury goods.

Also, many of these emerging markets have younger consumers who “represent substantial power over purchases, particularly large items such as cars and homes, as well as the items needed to furnish homes.”

Finally, we’ll see foreign investors flowing “more readily into these developing nations.”

2. Flexible Work Arrangements

With advancements in communications technology like Skype, GoToMeeting and Slack, working remotely has never been easier. More importantly, however, the largest age demographic in the U.S. are also putting a nail in the coffin of the 9-to-5 routine.

In fact, 95 percent of Millennials want the option to occasionally work outside the office, while 77 percent of Millennials reported in a survey that flexible hours would make the workplace more productive.

Because Millennials value work-life balance over high salary positions, more businesses should be prepared to offer their employees telecommuting or remote employment opportunities, as well as flexible work arrangements, at least some of the time.

3. The Blockchain

If you’re not familiar with the blockchain, here’s a clean description from the Wall Street Journal:

A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority.

While known primarily for financial transactions, individuals are looking at alternative uses for the blockchain that include trading commodities to “establishing ownership of real-estate properties, to provide election voting” and to storing data online.

4. Live Streaming Events

Did you know that Millennials spend more time streaming video content than watching live television?

With services like Periscope and Blab, along with heavyweights Facebook and YouTube …read more

Read more here:: business.com

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