Ten Trends To Leverage To Push Your Business Ahead In 2017

2017 is here, and if 2016 was anything to go by, it's more important than ever that you go into this new year with a clear roadmap that can be adapted on the fly.

learn more about Johan Hanekom

By Johan Hanekom


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

2017 is here, and if 2016 was anything to go by, it's more important than ever that you go into this new year with a clear roadmap that can be adapted on the fly. Here are eight key trends for 2017 that you can leverage to grow your business:

1. Entrepreneurs everywhere 2017 will see a dramatic rise in people taking the plunge towards being business owners. This phenomenon will be partly driven by the rise in millennials in the workforce, along with a global shift towards contract work vs. full time employees. As barriers to entry become less and less traditional, would-be employees will look to leverage their skills and time by starting their own businesses.

2. Social proof Traditional marketing is dead. Consumers are smart enough and connected enough to see right through advertising. Consumer reviews, social media comments, and interest groups will drive decision-making. The challenge for entrepreneurs is to ensure that they have a two-way flow of information between them and their target audience so as to avoid market obscurity.

3. Internal disruptors Large companies are acutely aware that their size is no longer an advantage, but a real hindrance to innovation. As such, intrapreneurs will become the bastions of innovation in large organizations. They are the free spirits who challenge authority, make bold suggestions, and trail blaze new routes to market. Most importantly they are given an official mandate to do so. 2017 will see the introduction of Chief Intrapreneur Officer as LinkedIn job titles.

4. Solo Acts Single employee businesses will see a dramatic rise. Popular websites like Ebay, Etsy, Fiverr, etc. have created global market places for solo entrepreneurs. It has never been easier to start an online business from the comfort of your living room. This also presents dual income opportunities thereby not limiting income generation to traditional 9-5 parameters. Coffee shops are the new boardrooms.

Related: Trends, Analysis And Predictions For Digital Media In MENA In 2017

5. Micro trends As the compound growth of information takes full effect it will become critical to monitor for micro trends. Disruption and innovation are rendering macro trends obsolete before they've had time to take full effect. Keep your eye on trends that run parallel to your niche industry, as the ripple of disruption traverse sectors, silos and everything we used to be able to put in boxes.

6. Every SME an SME Small and medium-sized enterprises will have to become Subject Matter Experts in order to thrive. As the competition increases, generalists will fall by the wayside, and the victors will be those who are the leaders in their field. Find the niche within your niche to ensure long terms growth and profitability.

7. Go for gold by going green Consumers will demand greater environmental responsibility from their chosen supplier. This goes beyond recycling, not printing emails, or LED lights. Companies will need to prove that their very existence has a positive impact on consumers, competitors, and society.

8. Disruption will become normal Disruption will continue to dominate headlines in 2017. Entrepreneurs will have to focus on staying agile, innovative and open-minded. Chaos creates opportunity if you are willing to thrive on uncertainty.

9. We-Commerce Collaborative commerce will reduce costs through shared infrastructures and collapse business cycle times. Lean thinking will continue to drive the growth of "we-commerce," as we share everything from clients to creativity.

10. A brand new you As the internet blurs the lines between the real you and your digital self, personal branding will become more important than ever. Acquiring the skills to manage your digital citizenship will be essential- brushing your teeth and updating your digital profile will become daily habit.

Here's to 2017 ushering in phenomenal personal and professional opportunities!

Related: Four Tips To Make Better Decisions In 2017

Johan Hanekom

Johan Hanekom is a globally recognized expert on strategy, innovation, and growth with an emphasis on corporate entrepreneurship. A believer in social entrepreneurship, his paper while at Oxford focused on developing a nation of social entrepreneurs in Africa. Johan can be reached on Twitter @johanhanekom.



Related Topics

Thought Leaders

The Collapse of Credit Suisse: A Cautionary Tale of Resistance to Hybrid Work

This cautionary tale serves as a reminder for business leaders to adapt to the changing world of work and prioritize their workforce's needs and preferences.

Growth Strategies

STV Founder And CEO Abdulrahman Tarabzouni Aims To Help Create The Next Digital Giants Of The Middle East

With over US$800 million in capital, STV backs and scales the region's most exciting and disruptive technology companies, primarily focused on growth-stage technology.


5 Winning Habits That Will Transform Your Leadership Skills

Ready to take your leadership skills to the next level? Discover the five winning habits that will transform you into an exceptional leader!


The Bootstrapped Billionaire: Zoho Corporation Co-Founder And CEO Sridhar Vembu

Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO of the billion-dollar Zoho Corporation, explains how the soul of his company remains grounded despite its growth.


Meet the Most Active Investors In Saudi Arabia

This list has been compiled for (Saudi) startup founders to get familiar with- in case you might approach them in the future, to assess their impact on your cap table.

Business Process

Why Embracing Chaos is Crucial to Your Success and Longevity

Chaos engineering is a popular idea in software engineering, centered around the premise that deliberately breaking a system to gain information will ultimately help improve that system's resiliency. Given the uncertainty of our times, CEOs might want to apply this type of approach in their corporate sustainability strategies.