SAN FRANCISCO — Each year, extensive research is done to identify the 10 top business trends that are driving successful businesses forward to greater levels of achievement, profitability, sales, customer loyalty and client engagement.

These lists may vary slightly, but generally they include common themes that cross industry boundaries. Also, what applies in 2018 can apply to the new year, now that 2019 is here.

Since fabricare has a distinct retail component and an equally distinct manufacturing component, we will explore various ways to incorporate the trends in each department starting here with sales, marketing and customer service. This column will emphasize the impact on growing sales and profitability.

For this discussion, the focus will be on the specific list generated by Ian Altman for Forbes Leadership because it exemplifies a consensus of the 2018 trends lists (click link for the entire article).

10 TRENDS (CONTINUED)

6. Live-streaming video

According to Nick Losq, co-founder and creative director at StarBeast, a creative technology agency located in California: “Video is the most easily digestible form of media in a landscape now dominated by smart-phones. And when a business starts adding a ‘live’ component, introducing real people, in real time, it has the power to connect with consumers in a personal and honest manner, allowing businesses to separate themselves from their competitors. Live video has the ability to give many businesses a face and a soul.”

Livestream research shows that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. And 73% of B2B organizations report positive ROI from video marketing.

7. Serve your community

Review the source of each of your recently acquired customers. Chances are, they were not on your radar before they decided to use your services.

Being visible in the many locales your customers and prospects frequent is essential to attracting new clients. Key locales: electronic media, physical locations and lifestyle events.

8. Marketing focus on solving problems

Consumers encounter so many challenges in their daily lives that they will pay you well if you can eliminate a pain point allowing them to focus on other problems or oppor- tunities.

How many chores can you take off their To-Do list, such as: cleaning patio cushions, preparing table linens for guest dinners, washing and pressing bed linens. (And making the beds!)

9. Subject matter experts (SMEs)

SMEs educate, guide and advise. Whether you are targeting consumers or clients, the reason they should use your services often eludes them.

Many potentially great fabricare customers have no understanding of what you can do to address the needs they may not know they have. Think especially of the elusive younger generations of professionals who may never have encountered professional drycleaning and laundry, but they will love the service once they realize the benefits you offer.

That is why SME’s are necessary But... your team can only become SME’s with essential training. Remember that most of your team cannot afford your service so they don’t inherently know why the luxury of fabricare is valuable.

10. Blockchain

Bitcoin is the most commonly recognized version of blockchain. (A complex technology beyond the scope of this article.)

You may wish to be on the cutting edge, incorporate it into your operation, and probably earn a lot of free publicity, by being the first cleaner in your market to accept Bitcoin.

Now that 2019 is rolling, take an objective look at your company and assess your status on each of those success trends. Participating in them can help you grow and prosper.

To read Part 1, go HERE.