Adapted from The Future Of Home Business Technology by Tiffany S. Williams, MBA , Forbes Councils
Technological growth, as well as access to the internet, have changed the way we do business. According to International Telecommunications Union, the number of internet users grew from 400 million in 2000 to over 3.2 billion in 2015.
The idea of a physical workplace is quickly being replaced by conducting businesses from your own home. It’s easier now: we can create a virtual office and marketplace through the internet, take care of all aspects of the business from home, and (finally!) find the right balance between personal and professional life.
Not only do home business owners save time and energy, but they are putting technology to the right use. Here are six exciting examples.
In the near future, machines will be able to do any job better than humans. Though knowledge-based jobs will take some time to be replaced, work that involves physical labour will be hit hard by automation. Eliminating emotional and physical factors by using machines will help to improve the quality of work.
Not only will this lead to fewer people working in dangerous physical jobs but automation will help home-based businesses use machines to do the repetitive and monotonous work. For example, you won’t need to pay to manufacture a product from each angle to know how it will work. It will be easier to create a virtual model first and manufacture only when you are satisfied.
Automation will also guarantee that the work gets done at a faster pace, and home businesses will be able to capitalize on that.
Businesses are no longer confined to physical boundaries. A working laptop and internet connection can connect you to the rest of the world in an instant. Location-independent entrepreneurs are an example of digital nomads who provide services to people from across the world – from accounting to legal transcription, writing and marketing, almost anything can be done with their help.
Being a digital nomad yourself is a great way to pay your bills and at the same time use your spare time to good use. You can travel, put time into your hobby and spend quality time with your family as you work remotely.
E-commerce started with books and has expanded to almost everything. From clothes to groceries, electronics to baby care, everything is available to buy through verified e-commerce platforms. By 2022, 17% of retail sales in the US are expected to happen through e-commerce and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are driving a good chunk of sales.
We get to save time by having things delivered to our doorsteps. Instead of wasting time standing in long lines, we get to use it for better purposes.
BI software collects scattered data and puts it together to form information that can help improve businesses. The technique was earlier used only by corporate enterprises due to affordability, but small, home-based businesses are able to access this software through the technological advancement of the internet. BI delivers real-time business data, monitoring and tracking ability and advanced analytics.
This might be the trend that can help home-based businesses stand apart in the long run. The data collected through business intelligence lets home-based businesses study the market. It will help them find ways to promote and get products and services to their demographic with ease.
Network marketing business models are expected to grow in popularity in the coming years as major companies such as Avon and Amway have been reaping benefits through its use. The commission-based business strategy relies on distributors to market the products and services. This would prove ideal for home businesses as they can outsource the marketing works to the distributors.
Network marketing gives you a chance to concentrate only on producing and delivering great products and services, while the process of promotion can be outsourced to professionals.
Online training is a concept that was frowned upon a few years ago but has gained momentum over the years, with the glory of sites such as Skillshare.com and Lynda.com. It has revolutionized the way we look at education, making it simple to produce and deliver expertise from one person to another and deliver courses to people from all over the world at any given time. All of this can be done from the comfort of your home. It is a win-win situation, for you and those who take your course.
With each passing day, the concept of an office at home is gaining momentum. And it will be no different in 2018, as you can expect these trends to work wonders. Remote work is being preferred over the conventional way of doing work, and employers and employees have ample time to spend with their families.
The ability to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime is the cornerstone of a home-based business. The trends will change, as there is a never-ending need for advancement in the world of business. New trends let businesses stand out among the rest, leading to a competitive nature in advancing productivity. Stay tuned!