Three Trends set to Shape Professional Industries

I found a great article talking about some of the major themes that are predicted to influence professional industries this year. A big part of running a successful business is staying up-to-date with current trends that are affecting the marketplace.

Here are three trends that are set to be prevalent this year:

Trust as the key competitive advantage

It is said that no publicity is bad publicity, however that was before the dawn of the internet. The value of trust is increasing in all aspects of business and marketing. Nowadays, through digital media, there’s a far wider range of reference point to decide whether a brand is trustworthy or not.

Trust equals consistency over time, it is hard to win and quick to lose. A business can’t earn trust overnight, but it can make the decision to demonstrate dependable and transparent dealings with employees, customers and investors.

Employees as critical brand assets

Employees are the lifeblood of a company and they play a leading role in shaping the perceptions of the business for which they work. This is one of the reasons why social media blunders (such as derogatory remarks) commonly lead to employees being fired.

People regard employees as credible and trusted sources and genuine employee advocacy is an effective means of building a trusted brand. Marketers have always embraced a multi-channel strategy and employees should be considered as one of those channels.

Cold calling as an antiquated method

Statistics show that 90% of prospects ignore any form of cold contact. Online advertising is becoming more particularized and industries are becoming more globalized. Cold calling is becoming even more of a shot in the dark. Without any sort of established trust most people are likely to view this tactic as an annoyance.

At the same time, 85% of executives now rely on social media to inform their buying decisions. We are likely to see a big shift towards social selling in 2016 with sales teams adopting targeted and informed approaches.

There are already signs of these trends being relevant and it is up to us to adapt.

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Another 5 Financial Reflections for 2016

Looking forward to another year of financial success means embracing monetary mistakes of the past. More importantly, you need to be honest with yourself about where you currently are and where you want to be.

Here are another 5 Financial Reflections from 2015, for 2016:

Don’t let yourself be pressured into buying designer goods
Branding is such a huge part of the modern consumer society, yet there are generic products that deliver exactly the same level of quality. Buying high-ticket items might make you feel good about yourself in the short term, but in the long run your frugality makes more sense.

Learn to say you’re broke when you are
There is no shame in admitting this, especially when you consider how many people are living above their financial comfort level on credit. If your friends want to go to an expensive restaurant, don’t be afraid to suggest a bring-and-braai at your place rather; or delay the excursion until you have sufficient cash flow available.

Make the most of what you’ve got
Scavenge your wardrobe, some of the clothes that you haven’t been wearing are probably still in good nick. Check to see what you have before rushing off and buying new stuff. Fix things that are broken, reupholster, add a fresh coat of paint, and if all else fails look for second-hand bargains.

We live in a throw-away culture, avoid ostentatious display and appreciate the small things in life.

Be honest with yourself about wasting money
You can easily lose hundreds of rands on buying coffee every morning, going to convenience stores regularly and not eating the food in your fridge before it goes off. These are avoidable expenses that don’t need to be completely eradicated but can definitely be reduced.

By lowering your costs on daily commutes, meals, conveniences and personal luxuries you could quickly accrue a sizeable emergency fund.

Only use credit for emergencies
First, you need to consider what you define as an emergency. A malfunctioning gearbox, a burst water heater, a sudden visit to the doctor’s office. Once you start buying everyday items, such as groceries, on credit there should be warning lights going off in your head. Don’t think of credit card limits and overdraft limits as your money, it’s the bank's money that you’re using and it’s best not to forget it.

Turn your reflections into resolutions and forge a firm financial future for 2016.

In need of financial advice? I can help you out. Let’s get in touch!

Source: fin24