Dear M & M: What do you see in the future; any ideas on types of businesses we will need? – Jack

Dear Jack: We have all heard about meat being grown in labs, Asteroid Farming for minerals, 3-D Printing, Body Part Making, DNA Design Firms, Jet Pack Dealerships, Luna Tour Guide, Nano medics (using nanotechnology to repair cells), Space Hotels, Stem Cell Pharmacies and Water Trading. I am certain all of these things will happen.

Looking at some trends that one should consider might be beneficial. “More people will be working from home, doing remote work. With flexible hours and the ability to work from anywhere: The gig economy is attracting more and more people, and it’s no wonder. There are 56.7 million freelancers in the United States, according to a 2018 survey of 6,000 U.S. workers by Upwork and the Freelancers Union. Freelancers represent one in three U.S. workers (35 percent); their numbers have increased by 3.7 million over five years.”

Online platforms to hire an expert will become more relevant. More shopping choices will appear online. As our population continues to become older, there will be more demand for healthcare services and products.

Experts are forecasting once again continued increase in spending on pets from boarding to feeding to providing care for them. Society will continue to have increases in conversations using online platforms for social engagement. More people will be accessing everything through mobile devices.

Look to see increases in artificial intelligence from autonomous driving to virtual assistance with chat bots handling customer service requests.

As the United States becomes more diverse, escalations in minority buying power will start driving the economy in different ways. Cultural shifts will change the direction of what products and services will be offered.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.

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