2016 is going to be a notably big year for entrepreneurs. I’m seeing some massive shifts within several key industries that affect entrepreneur which is making me very optimistic for the coming years.
In this post, I wanted to highlight some major trends in the market, that are all set for massive growth in 2016.
Banking & Loans
You know how Uber pretty much came out of nowhere and steamrolled the tightly controlled, archaic business model of the cab industry across the world? We’re in the early stages of that happening with the banking industry.
FinTech (Financial Technology), as it’s commonly referred to, is making it easier for entrepreneurs to get loans to build, launch, and grow small businesses. In fact, many of these services only take a ten-minute application and you’ll get approval and the money transferred to your account within 24 hours. Best of all, the rates are very respectable.
For ecommerce entrepreneurs, this should be of particular interest as the loans tend to be smaller (5-20k), which works well for getting an ecommerce business up and running.
For my list of some companies that are at the forefront of this movement, check out my FinTech list here.
Smart entrepreneurs pursue multiple income streams. However, being good at multiple things like building businesses and investing can be difficult because both require a full-time commitment. The good news is that smart, and passive investing is getting easier with the introduction of disruptive investing companies like Wealthfront (USA) and WealthSimple (Canada).
Companies like Wealthfront and Wealthsimple are massively disruptive, set-it-and-forget-it investing services led by technologists (think former Apple & Google employees). These services cut out a sales team and use much smarter systems to manage your money. They are simple to use and can be a good addition to helping you reach your financial goals.
These small companies have set the stage for the whole industry to explode in 2016 and I’m personally looking forward to exploring these investing options more.
Shipping & Logistics
Arguably, not much has changed in the shipping and logistics business over the last 50 years. If anything, for small entrepreneurs, it feels like things are getting worse. It seems like every year, prices for packaging and shipping goes up and if you’re a relatively small entrepreneur, you—the person the needs it most—don’t receive the benefit of preferred rates that large companies can negotiate.
Again, shipping and logistics are prime for some disruption and although the barriers to entry are high, some companies are stepping up to the plate to make things better.
Take a look at some example pricing below:
Additionally, Shopify Shipping streamlines the process of printing the labels for your shipping. Freeing up time to grow your business.
It’s pretty obvious that the next steps for Shopify are to further integrate with more carriers and to continue to take the hassle out of shipping for their customers. Expect big things from Shopify in 2016 when it comes to shipping.
Other companies that are shaking things up in shipping and logistics is a San Fransisco based company that I’ve been following closely, Shyp. Shyp is a simple app that allows you to take a photo of anything you’re selling and schedule a time for someone to come and pick it up. That person will then take it to the Shyp warehouse, pack the product perfectly and ship it to your customer, again, at preferred rates that Shyp has negotiated on your behalf. This takes the hassle out of buying packaging and packing orders yourself, while also enjoying cheaper rates.
Late 2015, Shyp also announced a feature that will have a massive impact on the whole industry, address-free shipping. Right now, we’re used to using addresses to get letters and packages from point A to point B. The problem is addresses change whenever people move. This year, Shyp introduced a new method of addressing packages where customers can claim a nickname (unique identifier) on their service. That nickname is connected to an online profile and can be updated with your new address anytime you move. Instead of sending a package to an address, you use a nickname. Shyp and the postal system will take care of the rest by using that nickname to fetch the most recent and updated address the customer has on file.
This should be the future of mail and parcel delivery, so I’ll personally be watching it closely.
Legal Work & Advice
As an entrepreneur building and growing your business, it’s natural to have a lot of legal questions and getting access to the answers you need can be critical. Legal information shouldn’t be intimidating and expensive because it’s necessary. Thankfully, there are some entrepreneurial lawyers out there that also agree, and they are making it much easier for other entrepreneurs to access legal help in a leaner, less intimidating, and less expensive way.
Using technology, many of these modern legal companies have found ways to streamline their processes. In 2016, getting legal work, information, and advice is going to get much easier.
Check out my list of new the best places to get legal advice for your online business.
It’s rare to find an entrepreneur that likes accounting. We like the numbers and the story our income statements and balance sheets tell us, but we don’t like the process of accounting. Why can’t this stuff just be done for us automatically, in the background? Well, that dream is becoming closer to reality with services like Bench and Hubdoc and a host of others.
Bench, for example, is your awesome accounting partner in the cloud. They pair you with a real bookkeeper but also provide the technology to make accounting as painless as possible.
Hubdoc connects with hundreds of services like your hydro company, cell phone provider, bank and credit cards to automatically pull, sort and upload all your bills to your cloud accounting providers like Quickbooks Online and Xero.
I expect an even greater push in 2016 from technology companies to further automate and simplify accounting for small business owners.
2016 looks like it’s going to be a great year for entrepreneurs with many industries that touch our everyday lives getting better, cheaper and more automated.