3 of the Top 12 Trends for 2009 Biz Success (Are You On Top of Them?)

by Lani and Allen

by Lani & Allen Voivod, aka The Content Lovers™ of Epiphanies, Inc.

As small business owners, it’s all too easy for us to get so immersed in the daily planning and producing of projects and profits that we forget to step back and take a look at the Bigger Picture of what’s going on “in the field,” as they say.

So take a minute out of – or add a minute into – your day’s to-do’s and get hip to three of the top trends that require your attention, ASAP. Not only will you feel smarter, but the information will help you:

·         Stay relevant and competitive.

·         Adjust your products, services, practices, and policies accordingly.

·         Make better decisions about what to do with your time and resources.

And away we go!

Trend #1: The Rise of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the illusion of the “safe” corporate job get completely annihilated. We’ve seen retirement plans disappear, corporate greed get outed, and the “gentleman’s handshake” between dedicated employees who invest 10 – 30 years into their company’s goals and profits go the way of the dodo bird.

Enter the Lifestyle Entrepreneur. Creative, determined individuals who play to their own strengths, take advantage of the tools and resources available, and design their businesses to support their own passions, vision, and lifestyle goals, instead of designing a business that rules their lives.

What are some of the tools, signs, and secret weapons of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur?

·         Leveraged business models, like membership sites

·         Ultra-niche products and services that can be automated

·         Using Virtual Assistants instead of employees

·         Driving traffic to online products and services that require little or no human intervention

With the Internet, every single business and industry has the capacity to create some passive money portals around their products and services. It’s not only possible – more and more, it’s expected! Which means even multi-million-dollar companies can take advantage of some or all of the savvy strategies of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur.

Trend #2: “Kindred” Creation

It’s funny, most people assume moving business online means the death of personal connections. The irony is, to be successful online, you have to get in tune and in touch with what your Target Market and Ideal Audience wants more than ever before. You have to talk how they talk, hang out where they hang out, and make offers they find Irresistible. You have to find your Kindreds. Foster and nurture relationships. Find people who think like you do, have similar or complementary outlooks, etc.

Mega-marketer Dan Kennedy calls these folks your “Herd.” Marketing guru and author Seth Godin calls them your “Tribe.” We prefer Kindreds, because it sounds more human. And the human connection is what it’s all about.

Trend #3: The Great Social Divide

Essentially, there are those who have jumped (or are jumping) into the social marketing game, and those who haven’t (and won’t). Don’t be in the second group.

If you’re a business owner who sincerely wants to be in business five years from now, 2009 is the year you have to take the plunge into the social networking realm. It can be crude at first, but you have to budget some time and resources to get better and fold in this stuff a little at a time.

Right now, very few people (if any) are using all the vehicles perfectly, so you don’t have to worry about what’s the “right way” or the “wrong way.” The only “wrong way” is to end 2009 without some sort of presence on the top-tier social marketing sites, at the very least: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. And don’t forget that old dinosaur of interactive, conversational communications: BLOGGING. It’s still very much a respected VIP at the social marketing party – mostly because it can serve as your aggregate, your home base, your one-stop connection shop.

Set up a bare-minimum strategy. Learn a little about one of these every month, or every other month. Tools and applications are being developed even as we speak at mind blowing rates.

Your competition is learning this stuff. What’s more, your Target Market is looking for you – or will be looking for you – in these forums. They’re looking to connect, see who you really are, what you and your business are thinking about…what’s behind the curtain, so to speak.

If you’re not there when they want to make that connection or do their research, they’ll move on to whoever is willing to share their behind-the-scenes personality in authentic ways.

Ultimately, the human need for connection is fueling the social media explosion, and there will be thousands more sites and opportunities popping up in 2009 and beyond.

Be on the playing field when the pitch is thrown.

So there you have them – three of the top 12 biz trends for 2009. May you use them to fuel your business success, this year and for many years to come!

(Remember, vote for your favorite “Headless Chicken Syndrome PSA” video on The “A-Ha!” Blog to get a copy of the audio program where we reveal all 12 trends, and you’ll also have a chance to win a free copy of the “Down ‘n Dirty Marketing Planning” package, too!)

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Lani & Allen Voivod, The Content Lovers of Epiphanies, Inc., help imperfect-preneurs and million-dollar businesses get down ‘n dirty with their marketing, so they can connect and prosper with the peeps who matter. Get your FREE “A-Ha!” Success Kit, a one-of-a-kind 7-day ecourse with real-world case studies, posters, and articles designed to thrill, inspire, and rock your world, at www.AhaSuccessKit.com!

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