Do you ever look at the news and ask yourself how what you see might impact your business?
If you are like me, the chances are you don’t do a great deal of this. Yes, we watch the news and may read the paper, a magazine and maybe a trade journal. Plus, we may spend time online going to various sites for information, education and entertainment.
I suspect, though, that we don’t spend a great deal of time reflecting on what it is we just saw and how it may impact our business. Oh, maybe with trade journals and small business articles, something focused on our livelihood, may merit some thought, but much of it we see and then quickly discard.
So this morning, I took the time to think about what I was reading and how items may be important or an opportunity for a small business.
While there is lots of things I could talk about, I want to focus on two news articles, one I see as a trend and another that’s partially fad but also has a trend. Here goes:
Pokemon Go – This augmented reality game has exploded. In just two days, 5 percent of Android devices downloaded the app. You may remember Pokemon, from Nintendo, from years past. Well, its back in a big way. Last evening, I happened to come across a location here in Bismarck where teens were gathering to be part of the game.
This article talks about how one small business has tried to capture some of this market. While the store was lucky enough to be a home to a PokeStop, other stores are trying to determine how they might benefit from the game.
Takeaway: It’s probably a fad that will quickly come and just as quickly go. With the current market being teens, as soon as adults try to move in, they probably will go somewhere else. However, it does suggest two small business opportunities. The first opportunity comes from the fact that things can cycle around. Pokemon was big, left and now is back.
The second opportunity comes from what augmented reality might mean for small businesses. Imagine how you could use this in your store. And it will only get better.
Solar Impulse 2 – Going around the world in an aircraft powered only by solar energy. I have been watching this unfold for some time. It doesn’t make the headlines often right now but will in the not too distant future. The project has only one flight leg left to complete its objective. It’s had its ups and downs (bad pun). And it’s a long way from commercial flights.
Takeaway: It’s a trend. Think about the opportunities, not only from solar energy, but, other technology involved from building materials to batteries to technology to the ability to follow the flights live with video and social media. And this is only one example. What about driverless cars? Or Google Streetview now offering a service to now go inside your store?
As with any opportunity, you need to determine if it is right for your business. But unless you are staying current, you may never have the chance.
Take 15 minutes today, check out the news. What opportunities are out there for you?
P.S. – Let me add one more. Check out what a piece of cardboard can do. How can this fit into your business?
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.