From AI to negative social media exposure, here are 5 startup and small biz trends to watch out for

Bhupendra Sharma
From AI to negative social media exposure, here are 5 startup and small biz trends to watch out for

There are immense growth opportunities for everyone; The only thing that is required is the willingness to understand the need of the hour and act accordingly

The business-friendly conditions and adaptable nature of the market have made it extremely easy for many new age entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality using the current technology and innovation in Southeast Asia.

However, it’s not as easy as it seems.

There is no doubt that Southeast Asian market is putting the same impact on the world that Silicon Valley once did. New technology exposure, startup-friendly policies, skilled manpower and everything else needed to grow your business are readily available.  Now the only thing that’s needed by startups and entrepreneurs is to keep a close eye on the current business trends and adapt them quickly.

If you happen to be a startup owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, check out these five trends that are likely to affect the future of South East Asia’s startup world big time. So, the sooner you adopt them, the easier it will become for you to maintain a steady growth in the coming years.

Take a look:

1. E-commerce will continue to flourish

Regardless of what their annual P&L statements look like, e-commerce startups will continue to flourish. Recently, Walmart bought a controlling stake in India’s leading e-commerce website Flipkart for about $16 billion, making it the biggest e-commerce deal the world ever witnessed. Amazon entered in Southeast Asian market last year with its Prime service. Alibaba and Tencent have already shown their intentions by pumping in billions of dollars in expansion across regions. These leading e-commerce companies know what future uphold. This is the reason they’re investing crazily in their services in the Southeast Asian countries. It’s just a matter of time before you will see many other players entering this market.

So, if you have not yet finalised your next big business idea, here is one for you. Just make sure you execute your idea effectively. After all, that’s all that matters in the long run.

Also discuss: I got a great idea but have little business or social skills; how can I approach investors?

2. Mobile is your key to success

This point has been the talk of the town for past many months. As you can see the internet service providers have slashed their monthly data plans by a significant margin. Besides, more than 50% of the global population is likely to have access to smartphones in next two years. It means that they’ll also use the internet and prefer doing most of their shopping, ride booking, hotel booking, social media surfing, emailing, and many other routine tasks through their phones.  You should leave no stone unturned to make the best use of this opportunity.

Regardless of whether you want to set up a service-based business or a product startup, do not forget to have necessary arrangements made in advance. What you can do is share your vision with a renowned mobile app development company and ask it to get you a customised app that can work as a direct point of contact between your company and your users. Have a go at it when you still have enough time to get endless benefits in the future.

3. The future belongs to AI

What’s the one thing that Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have in common apart from their leading market positions and massive yearly revenues? The answer is — their focus on AI and automation. Google has Google Assistant, Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri and Facebook has bots. They know which direction the humanity is heading towards, and with these automation tools, they want to be on top of their games.

Have a similar approach if you wish to secure a bright future for your startup. Take automation and AI seriously. They are going to become game-changers in the near future. Come up with innovative ideas as to how can you make these two a part of your core business strategy and implement these ideas without any further delay.

4. Negative social media image and branding

Remember how one tweet of Kylie Jenner lost Snapchat close to $1.3 billion in market value in a single day? This isn’t the only example which shows how brands have lost millions and billions of dollars in market capitalisation due to negative social media marketing. From time to time, negative branding has adversely affected companies’ financials and social image. So, stop taking your social media marketing strategy casually. Users on social media are a lot more aware of everything than ever before. They can make or break your image overnight. Take things seriously and avoid unnecessary controversies unless they’re well planned and properly executed.

5. Customer is still king

Nowadays, most successful companies are those which leave no stone unturned to make their customers feel special. Gone are those days when corporates could take customers for granted and still manage to keep their revenue and profit intact. It might have happened in the pre-globalisation era, but now when the competition has touched all new heights, you have no other option but to serve them well. This is the most important thing that will help you survive and thrive as a startup. Others have learned it the hard way, be smart and accept this truth without delaying it any further. Start giving importance to your users and make them feel happy and special.

Also read: Aussie growth marketing platform Gleam.io founders share on running a lean remote team and handling customer service personally

Southeast Asia has transformed itself into one of the most startup-friendly markets in the world, leaving behind many developed nations. There are immense growth opportunities for everyone. The only thing that is required is the willingness to understand the need of the hour and act accordingly. The business trends mentioned above will make your journey less hassled. Pay heed to them and write a unique success story for your startup.

Are you a startup owner or an aspiring entrepreneur? Which other important trends except the ones mentioned here are you noticing in the market? Please share your views in the comments section and help the community members learn from your experience.

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