Thinking of working for yourself in 2017? Read below for an introduction to some of the trends that today’s entrepreneurs are pursuing in both the online and real life world.
Online Brand Communities continue to make impact in the increasingly crowded world of eCommerce. Tapping into the social nature of humanity, companies or individuals that cleverly foster the need for interaction between people are booming. These days, global communities are being brought together online to share information and ideas and the savvy brand can be strengthened (or damaged) within this space. Relationships in this arena not only occur between the brand and its members, but between members themselves, which may or may not have originated due to a shared interest in a brand itself. Facebook’s Kmart Mums Australia for example, not only houses members that share a love of Kmart, but information is actively shared between members relating to a repurposing of their products typically for children’s activities.
After establishing a dedicated following within your community, you’ll need a strategy for monetising it, after all, we can’t all become rich as a result of an IPO. Most likely you’ll want to achieve this through advertising and sponsorship, affiliate marketing or through holding events or workshops etc. to suit your community. To start this business in 2017, you’ll need to be dynamic within the online space and ready to respond/proactively predict trends to establish a dedicated online following that can be subtly transformed into a commodity. Online brand communities are also the ultimate passion project, so if profit is your endgame, be sure to configure it in such a way to maximise returns without it taking over your life.
Bricks and Mortar
Despite the comparative ease of establishing an online businesses, there will always be a need for certain products and services to have a physical face-to-face premises. Whether you have your eye on a cheap warehouse for lease or aspire towards owning your own luxurious office in the CBD, tailoring your location and access to it is essential to ensure your business’ survival and growth. Consumables such as food and beverage continue to perform well in Victoria, but careful consideration of ingredients and cuisine is advised to excite the savvy palettes (and Instagram accounts) of Melbourne foodies. Similarly, pop-up shops that offer products or experiences for a limited time have potential to condense sales into a shorter timeframe or establish a following that will support the establishment of permanent premises in the future.
The pop-up festival is also an increasingly popular format for individual brands, or a collaboration between several businesses to utilise. Not only does the temporary nature of a festival encourage customers wanting to avoid FOMO, but represents touring potential to regional and outer urban areas, where less competition for your product or service is likely. ‘Touring’ businesses can also capitalise on local events such as markets, arts festivals and cultural activities and they may even be eligible for regional funding or grants depending on eligibility.
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