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Spot business trends to survive and thrive

Trends or business trends.

They come and go.

The very word “trends” suggests transience and impermanence, doesn’t it?

Think about your childhood and, if you have children, the habits that have shifted.

Childhood trends

Loom bands are now passé, as are Tamagotchis. Some trends survive the test of time – like Lego, but others, from your childhood, like train sets have died and gone to toy heaven.

The world of toys is equally applicable and relevant to the business world. Your niche business that was all the rage seven years ago and seemed a surefire winner has faded dramatically.

You need to capitalise on business trends.

The rise and fall of gluten free cafés

At PDQ Funding, we can think of several business ideas that boomed and dropped. One is gluten free eateries. There was a time, if you had an intolerance or allergy, that eating out was like a game of Russian Roulette, but then niche enterprises formed to cater for your needs. They did this well too. The problem though came when the big players spotted the demand and began to expand their Free From ranges from one small column to a whole aisle in supermarkets. Dairy free and gluten free sandwiches were no longer elusive but could be found in supermarkets, chain cafés and restaurants.

That niche gluten free café saw decreasing footfall and profits in what was once a safe area to invest in. Those business trends may have passed?

Don’t get us wrong, in bigger towns and cities, they will survive and thrive and in places like Italy, there is exceptional demand for gluten free food, but in a small town like Buxton near us, perhaps not?

Spotting business trends

Your established or new business needs to trend spot. It would be positively foolhardy to invest for example in a tobacconist business given the rise of vaping. Vape shops and businesses are growing and you can see that acceleration online and on high streets. That may be a surefire investment? When the internet was in its infancy, internet cafés did well, but they’re museum pieces now everyone has a 4G smartphone and oodles of data.

Spotting trends is necessary but there is always an element of risk.

Veganism is rising as is teetotalism.

Teetotalism is rising

One trend that seems to show little sign of abating is the UK’s move towards lower consumption of alcohol and indeed permanent sobriety. This is not apocryphal either. Alcohol consumption in restaurants, pubs and at home is on a fast decline. The reasons for this are manifold but younger people (millennials) seem to be leading the way.

We quote:

Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups.

That the increase in non-drinking was found across many different groups suggests that non-drinking may be becoming more mainstream among young people which could be caused by cultural factors.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, the lead author of a UCL study.

Britain was a nation of binge drinkers

Anyone who’s travelled to continental Europe will probably find wide differences in city centre drinking cultures.  Drinking is primarily a social activity in Madrid or Paris. It accompanies meals. You won’t find legions of French people moving from bar to bar on a Friday night on “pub crawls”. Increasingly, it seems the UK will see less of this.

Festivals are even embracing sobriety, like this one, for example. Students are shunning booze too.

What does sobriety mean for your business trends?

Put in simple terms, it means that where there is demand for non-alcoholic or low alcohol alternatives, you have to supply it. Or those health-conscious socialisers will go elsewhere.

A coke or an apple juice alone will no longer suffice.

You need to provide low alcohol or no alcohol cider, beer, lager and wine. You need to serve a range of bottled waters and soft drinks. Your coffee and tea needs to be high quality and available constantly.

The financial challenges of sobriety

Moving away from stocking 10 types of gin to ten types of low alcohol beers requires thought and investment. The days of heavy drinking being a cultural norm are disappearing, with people choosing healthy alternatives.

Firstly, you need to cater for these new customers in sustainable, eco ways, another rising phenomenon which we’ve written about before.

Secondly, you need to determine, if space is finite, what products to discontinue.

Finally, ask customers. For example, a poll on social media may guide you. Google reviews can also be a good barometer for a business direction.

How PDQ Funding can help your business

The application for a merchant cash advance is simple. There is a 90% approval rate, it is free from personal guarantee and comes without credit checks. There are no lengthy application processes to overcome with PDQ Funding. If you are looking for a loan alternative quickly we can make a decision in principle for you on the telephone. Providing all the information we requested is delivered, you can have a decision within 24 hours.

Providing your business processes card transactions and has been trading for at least six months, we can help you grow and thrive.

It couldn’t be easier to apply for a business cash advance UK without risk from PDQ Funding.

Once we have received your communication, one of our relationship managers will be in touch to guide you through the rest of the process.

Finally, if you have any questions, please contact us or check out our FAQs.