The future is here: Are you ready?
Here are 5 major trends/possibilities to watch for and act upon in 2011 and beyond:
1. Green Technology/Water Conservation
The terms Green technology, carbon footprint, climate change, eco friendly, re usable, recyclable will be the words spoken, written, discussed and planned for in huge proportions from now on. This will impact large industry as well as small businesses and households who will be compelled willingly or unwillingly to save the planet. Business travel will be more limited as the "carbon footprint" is more top of mind. It will be replaced with online and virtual meetings. This will impact airlines, hotels and other travel related industries. However, it will also greatly increase opportunities for online learning,webinars and tele-seminars.
2. Elder Care
The first batch of 10,000 Boomers reached age 65 on January 1, 2011, with 10,000 more arriving every day for the next 16 years. Life expectancy also grows to age 100+. This will affect every aspect of society - from jobs, housing, health care, retirement needs, mortality tables, insurance costs, elder care/assisted living needs, the definition of a nuclear family and caregiver roles. Growth in a senior population will affect laws on inheritance, elder abuse, conservancy, real estate, investments, housing design and construction, medical care and medical support systems.
The worldwide web offers everyone who is "connected" to search for information, hire a professional, purchase homes as well as goods and services and even meet the person of their dreams. LinkedIn, Facebook and a myriad of other social networks allows people and businesses to connect. It's not going away. If you still see yourself as only "local", you are in the minority and you are missing out on amazing internet marketing and sales opportunities. Individuals and businesses are now connecting all over the globe.
4. Personal Growth/Personal Health/Slowing Down the Aging Process:
Seeing their parents reaping the rewards of unhealthy living (smoking, obesity, lack of exercise) requiring walkers, wheelchairs and oxygen tanks at the end of their lives, boomers are beginning to rethink their own lifestyles so as not to suffer the same fate. It's not just about looking younger. It's about feeling younger.Health and Fitness is the wave of the future.
As mainstream churches struggle to remain relevant in the 21st century, New Age philosophy is on the rise. Meditation, Yoga, Retreats and Health Spas cater not only to individuals but companies looking for innovative ways to conduct business meetings and team building events.
5. Re emergence of Entrepreneurship
Generation X & Y aren't so willing to give their lives to the corporation. Small business growth is seen as the savior of our downtrodden economy. Are you a small business owner? Rejoice. While you can buy a house or a car online, there are many services that must be done in person. The key to your success will be customer service and follow up. In this ever increasing internet centered world, it will be the personal touch that you provide to your clients that will be the "secret sauce" that will grow your business.