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The emergence of new technology and growing of societal demands are sparking new ideas for business in 2020. — Rawpixel

This year will bring a number of big changes to virtually every industry, and forward-thinking entrepreneurs can capitalize on major trends to launch new, successful businesses.

Following are the top ten emerging trends business owners and industry experts think present the greatest opportunities for entrepreneurs.

1. Peer groups for community interaction

George Morris, founder of entrepreneur community The OneFifty, believes peer groups are going to rise in the next decade.

In his experience, many entrepreneurs struggle to find meaning and connection with their communities. In an increasingly tech-driven world, there will be a need for more “truly human interaction,” and peer groups will be the place to find that connection, Morris said.

2. Implementation of machine learning and AI

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more integrated into the business world. Neeraja Rasmussen, founder of machine learning startup Spyglaz, expects these technologies to transform how we live and work in the near future.

“We’re looking at a future where the simplest of actions, [like] what we eat, to complex business processes, [like] customer retention, will change,” Rasmussen said. “It’s a huge opportunity, and it’s why many entrepreneurs like myself are leaving the relative safety of corporate jobs and starting companies in this space.”

3. DevOps availability for businesses of all sizes

Automated cloud deployments, or DevOps, is a fast-evolving landscape that Dominic Holt of harpoon Corp believes will be an important trend in 2019. Today, DevOps has a steep learning curve that requires specialized skills to successfully deploy, but Holt believes this will change in the near future.

“Thousands of tools are being developed as we speak,” he said. “Large vendors have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for tools that make DevOps easier.”

For the past year, he has been developing the next generation of DevOps, which includes a visual interface that dynamically generates code. As the next generation of automated cloud deployment tools becomes more available, new businesses will be able to afford them and use them to deliver features, fixes and updates at a faster rate.

4. Demand for professional organizers

Professional organizer Amber Ehrlich said the launch of Netflix’s new series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has begun to inspire budding entrepreneurs to start their own organizing businesses, with a noticeable uptick in new social media accounts.

While professional organization is an industry with little to no education requirement, Ehrlich explained that Kondo has now set a precedent. Kondo offers a certification for her signature KonMari method, that spans for nearly one year.

5. Continued demand for sustainability

In the past decade, there has been a noticeable shift in consumer expectations and behavior. Mandy Nagel, the founder of eco-friendly clothing company, I Thought of You, has found that more people are choosing to purchase quality, long-lasting items rather than items that need regular replacing.

“Wearing sustainable clothing is one of the most positive, impactful things you can do as a conscious consumer,” she said.

Nagel predicts consumers will continue to prefer companies that pursue minimalism and sustainability, so new businesses that honor these traits will grow.

6. Increased use of drones and 3D cameras

The use of drones and 3D cameras are on the rise across numerous industries—even in ones you might not expect. For example, finance expert Scott Roelofs launched RCG Valuation & Monetization to provide cost segregation, financial analysis and specialty tax planning services to help small-to-medium-sized businesses grow.

To produce his cost segregation reports, Roelofs used drones and 3D camera technology to create a documented file of a property’s assets while measuring it within one tenth of an inch. This technology is not only highly accurate, but it also removes the high cost of traditional engineering in the field.

7. Emphasis on personalized experiences

Deborah Sweeney, CEO of startup services and consulting firm MyCorporation, said AI and data-driven personalization is a big trend right now, and it’s one that is here to stay.

“Businesses that offer personalized experiences and offers that are specific to their customers are going to thrive in 2019,” Sweeney said. Good personalized experiences include “offers or services based on customer location, communications that are unique to that preferred channel or recommendations based upon historic purchases.”

8. Consumer preference on convenience

Entrepreneurs like Eliza Sipin, founder of The Nail and Champagne Bar, are cashing in on the business of convenience.

Her business is mobile, bringing beauty services and champagne directly to her customers’ homes.

“People like to have everything come to the comfort of their home,” Sipin said. “The trend of convenience is a good idea for a business because people want more services to make life easier.”

9. A growing gig economy

Many women opt to leave their full-time jobs when they start their families. Georgina Morris, director of All Star Reserves, says the gig economy is empowering these women to return to the workforce.

“The trend and the proliferation of the gig economy have enabled us to reignite a workforce of women who previously were unable to strike the right balance between a career and other commitments, predominantly family life,” she said.

All Star Reserves is comprised of professional women who work remotely to supplement their clients’ teams. The company’s clients also reap the benefits of this setup, with the ability to use these women to fill any gaps in their workforce.

10. Support for veteran entrepreneurs

Paul Dillon, former U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lieutenant, created Bunker Labs, a business incubator for veterans.

“The best leadership training in the world is the training that is given to commissioned officers, and senior non-commissioned officers, in the Armed Forces of the United States,” Dillon said.

As veterans return home from war, Dillon’s goal is to help them use the extensive leadership skills they learned in the armed forces start their own businesses as entrepreneurs.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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