An Introduction To Past, Present, And Future Business Trends

Posted on Oct 28 2016 - 6:37pm by Editorial Staff

The business world is a big and crazy place. It’s full of different industries and organizations desperately trying to succeed. There are many paths you can go down to try and bring success to business. However, one thing has remained constant throughout the years. If you want to be successful and popular, you have to be able to adapt your business model.

As time goes by, there are certain trends that appear. Twenty, thirty years ago, business trends were far different to what they are now. Likewise, fast forward another few decades, and you’ll see completely different trends to now. This is the way the business world works, trends come and go, and companies adapt.

Often, you see some businesses that fail to change their business model. There are companies now that are still trying to follow trends from the late 90’s. Why? What’s the point in doing that? The answer is that there is no real point to them sticking to old trends. However, they do it because it got them loads of success back then. So, they’ve become stubborn and decide to stick to their way of doing things. As such, a massive company in the early 2000’s can easily become obsolete by now.

So, if you haven’t already guessed, the topic of this article is trends. There have been a lot of main trends over the years, and I’m sure there are loads to come in the future. What interests me is looking at the past and present trends, as well as some future predictions. This allows us to look at how business has changed over the years. We can see what was popular back in the day, and how we’ve moved on or adapted from it.


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Past Business Trends

In the past, we saw various business trends that helped push companies forwards. Some of these trends still carry weight to this day. Take a look at them here:

Face-To-Face Communication

Back in the day, very few people had multiple means of communication. Twenty years ago, you could walk down a street, and no one would be on a smartphone. Hardly anyone had email, and the telephone was the main way to contact your friends. From a business standpoint, face-to-face communication ruled above all. Companies would often go out and talk to their customers, trying to engage with them. Door-to-door sales became very popular as people would knock on doors and try to sell their products. It was a method that worked, as you brought the products to the customer. It saved them time, and your face-to-face selling technique meant you made a lot of money. Businesses of yesteryear relied on this communication for other things, like marketing. They’d have employees out on the street talking to people and handing out flyers/directing them to the business. Today, we see this as an old-fashioned technique, but, it worked back then.

Physical Businesses

As I’ve mentioned, there was limited technology in the past. Well, compared to today anyway. Back then, we probably thought everything was high-tech and mind blowing. Back to the point, with a lack of technology, there was only one real way to start a business. You found a place to work, hired employees, and got things done. Every business was a physical business. It had a physical workplace and physical workers, etc. Who remembers the days where retail shops lined every street? There were no abandoned spaces with ‘To Let’ signs hopefully trying to find a commercial tenant. Physical businesses were everywhere, and they dominated the business world. If you had the means to start an online business in the late 90’s/early 2000’s it would be pointless. That wasn’t the trend, and you’d find it hard to make any money. People weren’t online as they are now. Everyone was going to physical shops and dealing with physical companies.

Traditional Marketing

In years gone by, traditional marketing dominated the business landscape. Every business owner would use a selection of, what we now call, traditional methods. This involved creating advertising posters, magazine ads, etc. It was pretty much anything that didn’t involve digital technology. The reason these methods were so effective is because of the time. Try and run a marketing campaign that only uses traditional methods in 2016. Guess what will happen? You won’t have an effective marketing campaign, and your business will struggle to generate leads. Why? Because these days, everyone has gone digital. But, back then, very few people had gone digital. Even in the early 2000’s, internet access was limited. So, the most effective marketing techniques were traditional ones. You reached consumers in the best way possible and could have major success.


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Current Business Trends

When you look at the past business trends, you can see that some do carry over to this day. All three of those trends still have some degree of importance. The difference is, they’re not massive trends anymore that drive business. They’re additional things that can be used to strengthen a company. These days, trends are quite different:

Digital Marketing

I ended the past trends by talking about marketing, so it makes sense to begin this one in the same manner. Yes, nowadays, digital marketing rules above all else. The majority of people on earth have internet access and go online every day. That’s where businesses will find most of their customers. As such, the demand for things like a business website is incredibly high. Companies need one if they want to succeed. Then, they have to use digital marketing to get as many leads and web traffic as possible. Even small businesses have to use digital marketing to succeed. It’s a trend that’s been growing in the past six or so years.

Online Business

There’s simply no denying that online business is a current trend. It’s interesting how trends have changed so much over the years. These days, running a virtual online business is a sought after thing to do. Why? Because it’s cheap to setup, easy to manage, and you can run it from home. The reasons for this trend are simple, for one, it goes back to the point of internet access. Billions of people are online, it’s a massive market. Therefore, it makes sense to start an online business, as you can find customers all over the world. Secondly, technology has made it easier to run a business online. You have web design platforms that can create an online store in minutes. Finally, there are so many things you can sell online, from services to products. People can find something like a managed service platform and sell digital services and products. Or, they can create their own website and sell their services as a freelance writer. The most common online business has to be online retail. You start a store and sell physical items to customers. The online business trend is booming and set to stay.

Data Security

In the past, there wasn’t a big fear about data security. But, the fear is certainly there in modern times. We do so much work on computers and store loads of data on devices. In many ways, it’s fantastic. Technology allows us to store data on drives rather than in filing cabinets. However, we also live in a world where people can hack our devices and steal our data. So, data security is a massive business trend. Companies are looking for safe ways to store their data. Cloud storage solutions have become very popular. In general, the cloud is a very big business trend. It’s so useful, and companies are just starting to realize how effective it can be.


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Future Business Trends

The best way to predict future business trends is to look at current ones. Which current trends will we see in the next few years? And, will there be completely new ones? I don’t have a list of trends for this section. Instead, I’d rather give you some of my thoughts on where business will go in the next decade or so.

Firstly, it’s clear that online businesses will continue to rise. In fact, there may be a time where every business operates in the online spectrum. This sounds weird, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in a few decades time.

Secondly, I think marketing will change once again. We see so many changes to the way marketing is conducted. I feel like all future trends will revolve around technology. The new technologies that get created will shape the way a business markets itself.

In fact, I think that’s a business trend in itself, technology. As we get better technology, it enables us to do new things. That’s why a lot of current trends differ from previous ones. Technology advanced made things more accessible to the public, and businesses responded.

To conclude, there have been lots of different business trends over the last few decades. These trends have helped shape the business world and change the way companies operate. From a business perspective, it’s intriguing to see what future trends are on the horizon.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.