Changes To Look For In 2011While it may be hard to believe in many areas, many experts say the economy is actually on the rise, and waiting to grow your business until the economy improves may not be the best plan. Some good news from experts indicates that only 1.4 percent of minority businesses closed in 2010, compared with 2.9 percent the year before. Profit margins are higher too, probably because most business owners are cutting costs more effectively. Here are some changes and trends to look for in 2011, so gear your marketing efforts accordingly.

Baby Boomers

Market to baby boomers because many of them have dollars to spend, and there are many opportunities to gain their market share. For example, you can design homes and businesses that are more senior-friendly, like ramps and grab bars in homes, and businesses with lower shelves and more wheelchair shopping options as boomers age. Another idea is hiring seniors to help you with your sales and tech support, targeting boomers as your main goal. Retirement and aging is actually cool again in many sectors of society, and films, business places, and employers are targeting this market in 2011 to maximize their profits.

The Social Networking Phenomenon

If you haven’t jumped on the social networking bandwagon, 2011 could be the year to change your mind. Nearly 50 percent of Americans now belong to at least one social network, and they’re not just chatting, they’re spending money, too. In fact, they spend more than the average Internet surfer does while they’re online. Many websites are offering flash sales, offering discounts for a specific time, while others are offering stellar customer service with sales agents who chat with shoppers, trying to find out their specific needs so they can recommend the right products for them. Other sites to check out include the collective buying sites that are popping up all over the country. These sites group together businesses that offer discounts to members. Every day, members get a different deal, and businesses can see just how their advertising dollars are working when members redeem their coupons.

Tourism and Travel

While the news from many major travel destinations may still seem dismal, it seems that most Americans are tired of “staycations,” and travel will increase during 2011. Revenues, bookings, and overseas travel are all expected to rise, along with tour operators, travel agents, and even RV camps and resorts revenue rising, if not dramatically, at least significantly. Even more compelling are the applications that millions of consumers are using on their mobile devices. The market was nothing a few years ago, but today, travel apps, from restaurant finders to instant ticketless airline boarding are the biggest thing today. If you can capitalize on this market, you can add to your bottom line quickly and effectively.

These are just some of the most prominent trends you can use for your business in 2011. While the economy is still rocky, it may be looking up, and this could be your year to capitalize on this development for your business.

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