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Speed Review: It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit

Speed Review: It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit

Speed Review: It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit

15 Trends That Are Reshaping American Business

by Robert Shook & C Britt Beemer

Market researcher Beemer teams up with business writer Robert Shook to offer 15 major trends that will affect the future of business. Trend number one: Americans have less discretionary time.

Review

Here Are the Trends All Businesspeople Must Heed
In It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit, market researcher C. Britt Beemer teams up with business writer Robert L. Shook to offer 15 major trends that will affect the future of business. Many of the trends are interrelated, making the final list a compelling business roadmap that any manager or entrepreneur can use to devise strategies to plan and prepare for the marketplace of next year - and beyond. The result: an informative and fascinating look into our recent business past, and what that path means for the future.

Fifteen Trends
The 15 trends covered in the book are as follows:

  1. 1. Americans Have Less Discretionary Time. Many Americans say more work gives them less time for family vacations, exercise, sports, reading, TV, shopping and sleeping. Consumers demand more timesaving services to get more from less time.
  2. 2. The Gap Between the Haves and Have-Nots Is Widening. The ratio of rich to poor in America has more than doubled since 1977. Services catering to the affluent will continue to be in demand.
  3. 3. Community Involvement Enhances a Company's Reputation. Sponsoring children's sports and scholarships improves the public's trust. "Once your customers are convinced you care," the authors write, "they will continue to care about you."
  4. 4. There Is a Growing Obsession with the Internet."It's only a matter of time before those without Internet proficiency will be labeled illiterate." The net can create better services and more personalized shopping. Live video on the net will have an enormous impact on sales and services.
  5. 5. American Companies Can't Expect Employee Loyalty - They Must Earn It! After recent corporate downsizing challenged job security, employees no longer plan on one-company careers. To instill loyalty among employees, companies need to give raises, promotions and special recognition, and say thank you to employees.
  6. 6. Consumers Are Reluctant to Pay Full Retail Price.More shoppers than ever look for items on sale. Discount stores are fashionable. Effective selling skills and excellent product knowledge will help retailers win back customers from the big discount chains.
  7. 7. More Americans Are Caring for Their Aging Parents.There will be 101,000 people 100 years or older in 2005. With more consumers caring for elderly parents, many have less money for their immediate families.
  8. 8. The Number of "Paper Millionaires" Is Mushrooming.Half the investors making substantial profits in the stock market spend profits while the other half reinvests. Those that spend buy bigger cars, vacations, major appliances and homes. Luxury companies can capitalize by advertising in financial publications.
  9. 9. Dual-Income Families Are Becoming Single-Income Families. Most working parents say they would be "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to quit their jobs if they could afford it. More working parents are quitting to be with family. Family-focused businesses will benefit.
  10. 10. Frequent Buyer Programs Have Come to Govern Consumer Spending Habits. Sixty-three percent of American households participate in frequent-buyer programs that only cost companies about one percent of total revenues to implement. Value, choice, rewards, relevance, convenience and communication make these successful.
  11. 11. Today's Consumer Wants Brand Name Products.Consumers buy brand-name products because they want high quality from companies they trust, and they feel they save time when they know what they are getting from a company they can rely on.
  12. 12. Gaming Casinos and Lotteries Have Joined America's Mainstream. In 1998, Americans bet more than they spent on movie tickets, books and groceries, combined. In a nation of gamblers, companies are cashing in with promotional contests.
  13. 13. People Today Complain of Feeling Invisible. "No one should have to demand proper service." People are stressed and pressed for more time, and short on money. Service people will benefit by working hard to make people feel important.
  14. 14. Home Offices and Telecommuting Are Redefining America's Workplace. Home-based employment is one of the fastest growing segments of the workplace. Telecommuting saves employers overhead while saving employees time, child-care costs and travel expenses.
  15. 15. Today's Marketing Efforts Are Not Keeping Pace with Changing Consumer Demands. Marketing strategies have limited life spans because successes will be copied and improved by competitors. High quality storefronts and commercials pay off. Survival depends on satisfying consumer demands.

Insight and Research
Beemer has studied consumer and business patterns for the past 20 years, interviewing some four million consumers and businesspeople in the process. Managers and strategists in companies of all sizes will benefit from the insight and research collected in this book.