January is the perfect time for some fresh thinking. It’s a great time to think big—and for big-picture thinking. The experts are doing it, and you can, too. Here are some big-picture insights for the coming year to help stimulate your own thinking about what 2014 could hold for you and your business.
Business Insider reports on nine big ideas that will define 2014. The list includes some of the most fascinating ideas submitted when LinkedIn asked some of its top influencers for big ideas they believe will shape the coming year. These are broad-brush insights about how the world could change and/or events could unfold on a big scale. But because everyone (and every business) is influenced by trends and events, big and small, it’s important to think about these in the context of your own business: Could this change how I operate? Does this bring opportunities for new products or services? What impact might this have on my customers—and what they need from my business?
So here are the nine big ideas; you’ll want to click the link above to get all the details.
- 2014 will be the “year of the entrepreneur.”
- The meaning of a college degree will being to change.
- Online activity will become a data mine for recruiters.
- Investing will change completely, driven by boomers, women and millennials.
- The distinction between media and tech will continue to fade.
- The federal government will rethink and revamp its (unsuccessful) approach to tech.
- The #1 skill for leaders: Agility!
- Americans accept that stock market fluctuations and losses in 401(k)s are inevitable.
- As housing prices climb, moving to the middle of the country becomes more desirable.
Fox Business got even more specific and took on What 2014 will bring to your business. This Fox article says that the growth businesses experienced in 2013 has raised expectations for an even more profitable 2014. But the year is not going to be without its challenges, the biggest of which could be understanding—and being able to tap into—alternative funding.
Fox looks at five predictions for small businesses in 2014:
- Alternative funding. Small businesses need capital to grow and thrive. But they’ll also need to understand their options and where to go to tap into funding from sources other than banks.
- Marketing and branding. One of the biggest challenges for small businesses: How to seamlessly integrate customers’ physical and digital experiences with your company.
- Tech issues. Always an ongoing challenge for small business.
- Mobile. We don’t need to tell you: Everything’s coming up mobile and cloud!
- Security. With the cost and efficiency benefits of the cloud come new challenges in security.
And what would the big picture be without a nod to potential missteps? Forbes cautions small businesses to avoid these five mistakes in 2014:
- Don’t focus on social media to the exclusion of everything else.
- Don’t overlook paid social media marketing.
- Don’t stay chained to your computer!
- Don’t blame the government for your business’s success (or lack thereof).
- Don’t drown in apps.
Image courtesy of num_skyman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net