4 Business Predictions for 2010

Here we sit at the threshold of 2010. And in the spirit of prognostication, I’d like to take a moment to make a few modest predictions for the new year.

Business Prediction #1:
It Will Become Harder to Fill Seminars

Fact: It’s hard to fill seminars and it’s getting harder.

I can say this because I’ve experienced it firsthand with a few different clients. Not only that, I personally witnessed one of the largest seminar companies in the U.S. go belly up in late 2008.

I believe there are a few factors at work. One is simply the cost of seminar registrations combined with the cost of travel. Fewer people are willing to shell out $500 to $1,000 in travel expenses on top of a $500, $1,000, or $2,000 seminar ticket.

Another factor is simply the hassle of travel. It’s already bad. But since the security breach that happened Christmas day on Flight 253, the TSA has enforced onerous rules that make air travel even worse than before.

(I, for one, do not plan to get on a plane if they prohibit me from getting out of my seat or having anything on my lap for the final hour of the flight.)

As a result of the cost and hassle of air travel, I predict that:

  1. There will be more demand for quality online training, teleseminars, and webinars.
  2. There will be more demand forĀ intimate local seminars and workshops.

If you have any interest in public speaking or live training events, I believe it will become easier for you to attract attendees in your immediate geographic area — because people still enjoy live events. They just don’t want to fly to get there.

Business Prediction #2:
A Resurgence of Direct Mail

Call me crazy, but I like paper. In fact, a lot of people still prefer to read things on paper than on the computer screen. (Here, here!)

And I believe that as the effectiveness of email declines… and as the Internet becomes more heavily saturated with newly unemployed people trying to get their foot in the proverbial door of Internet marketing… the savvy business-minded marketers will start using (or return to) direct mail.

This does not mean I believe marketers will abandon online marketing. Not at all.

I just believe that direct mail is ripe for “being discovered again,” and that the marketers who are paying attention will begin to incorporate direct mail into their overall marketing strategies.

Business Prediction #3:
More Affordable Online Advertising

Just this week I’ve seen unprecedented offers for online advertising space. From one company, I just bought up newly vacated space for 26 cents on the dollar.

And another well-known PR firm is offering their flagship products for 33 cents on the dollar.

This may seem like a paradox. After all, if more people are coming online, why aren’t the rates of online advertising going up?

I believe it’s because the majority of online marketers and fledgling entrepreneurs want to get traffic for free.

They want to rank well in the search engines. They want to get “retweeted.” They want to get “stumbled.”

When the free methods prove unreliable, and they’re finally convinced that they should pay for advertising, what do they do? They get an Adwords account and start a pay-per-click campaign.

So the cost per click for major keywords on Adwords tends to go up… while the rates for advertising space on other web sites tends to stay flat or go down.

(The cost of advertising space declines even faster when entrepreneurs who don’t track anything get scared and pull the plug on their advertising campaigns.)

On the bright side, I expect there will be some great deals on online advertising space in 2010. Keep your eyes peeled.

Business Prediction #4:
The End of the Internet Marketing Guru as We Know Him

Have you noticed? More than a couple of the highest profile Internet marketers have retired and gone underground (so to speak).

I have to believe it’s a combination of the new FTC rules, shady marketing practices, and the investigative “journalism” of a well-seasoned robot.

  • No longer are you going to see IM gurus shouting from the rooftops how much they made in a year (or a minute).
  • No longer will you see them using black hat (unethical) techniques to “acquire” a gazillion followers on Twitter.
  • No longer will they “churn and burn” every person who comes in the door.

You get the idea.

I think this seismic shift is a good one because it will allow people to get back to fundamentals and focus on building real businesses that deliver real value at a fair price.

More Predictions and Business Advice for 2010

If you’d like to read more predictions and business advice for 2010, I recommend these articles to you (each opens in a new tab or window):

I wish you all the best in the new year.

-Ryan M. Healy

P.S. If you have any predictions of your own, or if you agree/disagree with anything I’ve said, I want to hear it. Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Ryan M. Healy

Ryan Healy is a financial copywriter and the author of Speed Writing for Nonfiction Writers. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Agora Financial, Lombardi Publishing, and Contrarian Profits. He writes a popular blog about copywriting, advertising, and business growth, has been featured in publications like Feed Front magazine, and has been published on sites like WordStream.com, SmallBizClub.com, and MarketingForSuccess.com.

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