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Taking trends that are happening at an industry level and applying them to your day-to-day business can be a challenge.

We’ve made trend spotting simple by looking at key trends and breaking them down by industry into simple actions that you can apply to your business.

Trends in Construction

Trend: Sustainability
Green building, using recycled materials, and renewable energy will continue to be popular in 2017.

What you can do: Make your construction company more environmentally conscious with something as simple as adding recycling bins on work sites. From there, look to reduce wasted materials with more efficient purchasing, and to save energy by using more efficient equipment.

Trend: Mobile technology on site
From using tablets to wearables, mobile technology will be used to improve efficiency, productivity, and safety in construction.

What you can do: Procore offers a variety of free webinars specifically about technology in construction. Pick one that sounds interesting to you and spend an hour learning about the intersection between technology and your construction business.

Trend: Smart buildings
Demand for buildings that are connected with technology will continue to increase.

What you can do: Smart building technology is changing rapidly. To ensure that your business doesn’t get left behind, make sure you know what’s coming next. Here are 8 things contractors need to know about connected buildings.

Trends in Restaurants

Trend: Delivery
Third-party services like GrubHub or Yelp Eat24 to deliver food are on the rise as customers seek out fast and convenient dining options.

What you can do: Start by understanding your delivery options. Read this article to help decide if delivery is a good fit for your restaurant.

Trend: Online menus and ordering
Customers will continue to expect the ability to access menus and place orders online.

What you can do: Make sure that your restaurant website is mobile responsive so customers can easily read your menu from their mobile device. Here’s a guide to get you started.

Research shows that online ordering is growing 300% faster than dine-in traffic. Giving customers the option to order online vs. call in orders gives more options for upselling and results in larger check sizes.

Trend: Mobile apps
Restaurants will use mobile apps to increase customer loyalty and engagement.

What you can do: Consider ditching the punch cards that often get left at home and implement a mobile loyalty rewards program. These 20 loyalty rewards apps are a good place to start.

Trends in Retail

Trend: Transparency and socially conscious products
The continued growth of transparent and socially conscious companies shows an interest in where money is going, not just what its buying.

What you can do: Start by making sure your business has a well-defined mission. Here’s how to write a mission statement in 3 easy steps.

Trend: Researching online before purchasing
According to this report, 97% of Internet users conduct online research on a product or business before making a purchase.

What you can do: Make sure your website is up to date with current contact information and hours, pricing, and product descriptions. Because reviews and testimonials also play a role in a customer’s decision to make a purchase, consider asking your customers to write a review of your business.

Trend: Omnichannel marketing
The shopping journey will continue to take place online and in social media well before a customer steps into a physical store location.

What you can do: In retail, omnichannel marketing is effective in converting shoppers to buyers. To get started, read the results from this study. Start small by picking one channel to focus on. Here’s how you can use Instagram to market your local business online.

Trends in Business Services

Trend: The cloud
Businesses are choosing to house operations in the cloud to access data anytime and from anywhere.

What you can do: Identify what parts of your business could benefit from being in the cloud. Here are five ways small business owners are using the cloud to decrease cost.

Trend: Email lists
Email will continue to be a key way to build customer relationships.

What you can do: This free guide tells you everything you need to know about building a list of subscribers. Don’t have an email marketing service yet? This article breaks down the pros and cons of 10 free email services.

Trend: Remote collaboration
Tools like Skype, GoTo Meeting, Google Docs, etc. allow businesses to work smarter and faster – from anywhere.

What you can do: Start with a free online tutorial for Google Drive and Docs. Pick the best online conference option. This article breaks down GoToMeeting vs. Skype.

Our mission at Swift Capital is to unleash the potential of every small business by providing them with fair and convenient access to working capital. We harness data and technology alongside personalized human expertise to see the true potential in every business. Did you like this post? Tell us what you’d like to see on our blog. Email us at [email protected]

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