Fledgling entrepreneurs have always had the daunting task of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. In spite of the challenges inherent in this journey, however, changes in technology and the economy have inspired an increasing number of people to burst out on their own. Luckily, new trends in the business world are making it even easier for these pioneers to get a leg up.
Made in the USA
When consumer demands and good business sense collide, the convergence has the potential to line a lot of pockets. As an increasing number of consumers look for ways to support their country’s economy, they are buying products that bear the made-in-the-USA stamp. Entrepreneurs who jump on this trend get to save money on shipping costs, avoid complicated import and export laws and take advantage of faster turnaround rates.
Bring Your Own Device
The new trend of BYOD in businesses allows entrepreneurs to get off the ground with little to no funding. Thanks to this trend, there’s no need to rent physical space or buy loads of equipment. You simply need a creative staff with their own laptops, tablets, or smart phones, and you are ready to rock.
Not only startups have benefited from this trend. Computerworld reports that Intel gained nearly five million hours of extra productivity last year alone as a result of their BYOD program. According to their Chief Internet Officer Kim Stevenson, the program saved every Intel employee approximately 57 minutes of every workday. To maintain the integrity of their company’s security, Intel allows employees to sign into a secure cloud that provides them with information based on where they are and their role in the company.
Money, Money, Money
Without a trust fund or a few connections to give you a boost, it can be hard for many entrepreneurs to break into the industry. However, recent shifts in lending have mitigated these struggles.
Reports from the Opportunity Finance Network indicate a 63 percent increase in the number of people filing applications for microloans (business loans ranging from $500 to $35,000), and 48 percent of those microlenders generated new loans. These microlenders are generally non-profit based and have the sole purpose of offering flexible lending to entrepreneurs. Small town America mirrors this trend according to Wendy Baumann, head of the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp, a microlender in Wisconsin. Baumann reports their organization has seen a 15 percent increase in applications over the last year, according to Bankrate.com.
Put together, these new trends have lead many startups to unprecedented success. According to The New York Times, at least 25 to 40 privately-owned Silicon Valley startups are now worth more than $1 billion, and that shocking number is only expected to rise. Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital estimates that number will climb to over 100 in the next year.
While some entrepreneurs simply have an idea and an office in the basement, others are armed with an MBA, a microloan and a mountain of debt to conquer. Regardless of where they start and how far they wish to climb, contemporary entrepreneurs can all benefit from current business trends that will help them on their journey toward success.