Blog Post

Tech Trends: What's in Store for 2022

From an innovation standpoint, the past couple of years were full of dramatic and transformational change and we do not expect 2022 to be any different. We’re particularly excited about the changes happening in PropTech, Health and Wellness, and Retail, as we have been busy engaging new clients in all of these verticals.

PropTech

In PropTech, we expect to see continued emphasis placed on the use of technologies that help customers and businesses visualize and experience their spaces in the digital world (e.g., AR/VR, visualization, advanced 3D rendering). During 2021, we saw the rise of virtual Real Estate as the wider world was introduced to metaverse platforms like Decentraland and The Sandbox, and our opinion is that this was just the start. We believe that advances in AI will allow this evolution to proliferate even faster as development engines and deep-learning algorithms are able to take user-specified metrics and requirements and automatically generate robust designs and finished building environments.

Take our current client Qbiq as an example. The Company utilizes proprietary AI and advanced rendering techniques to design finished office floor plans in minutes, uniquely tailored to a customer’s specific needs. With private investments in PropTech up 28% YoY, this sector is going to continue to explode and Bizydev’s expertise in real estate positions us perfectly to take advantage.

Health & Wellness

On the Health and Wellness front, we know that remaining healthy will remain a top priority for people in 2022 as we cautiously emerge from the COVID19 pandemic. While we could focus on a variety of trends here, we are most excited about the opportunities in the realm of connectedness, on both an interpersonal and technological basis, particularly as we see more and more people transition to remote-work-friendly lifestyles. Ecosystems that enable and support distributed communities by allowing users to stay connected around the globe, interact with specialists and professionals, compete with their friends to achieve goals, and the like, will ultimately lead to better outcomes across an array of disciplines (e.g., fitness, mental health, weight management).

Supporting this will be the continued proliferation of smart, connected devices that enhance the health and wellness experience in the home and provide users useful and impactful data. Whether it be connected fitness (iFIT), smart sleep systems (Eight Sleep), or fitness trackers (Whoop, Oura), we are now able to gain real-time insights concerning all aspects of our daily well-being and performance. It won’t be far off until we see the interconnectedness taken to the next level whereby these devices are all able to communicate and exchange data with one another, effectively comprising a single, holistic platform empowering individuals to live healthy and productive lives with minimal effort.

Retail

For Retail, we anticipate that the convergence between brick-and-mortar and digital channels will accelerate as the broader use of in-store automation and contextual analytics at the edge bring us closer to a unified, and highly-personalized, omnichannel shopping experience. Throughout 2021 and already into 2022, we have seen big-box retailers like Walmart, BestBuy, and Walgreens launch internal retail media networks to capitalize on the burgeoning “store as a medium” opportunity–think targeted ads on digital signage as you pass by or individualized promotions pushed to your phone while shopping all driven by customer datasets comprised of comprehensive in-store and online data–which has been enabled by these new technologies.

Another embodiment of this trend can be seen in the work being done by our client Brik+Clik, who is shaping the future of retail by bringing the convenience of online while allowing consumers to touch, feel, taste and try-on their favorite brands in a real-world environment. The benefit to the shopper is clear, but Brik+Clik is also changing the game for D2C online brands who now have a capital-light, data-driven, white-glove alternative to establishing their own physical retail presence. Instead of Location, Location, Location, for physical retailers, it’s becoming Data, Data, Data.


BCC

Think Twice Before the BCC

Bizydev’s founding was rooted in the idea that business development as a service was an underdeveloped and underappreciated resource in the early stage startup market. Whether companies get their growth and acceleration advice internally or externally (from a source of capital, advisor, marketing/PR firm, etc.), we’ve also come to see that business development can often be overlooked or half-assed. It takes an enormous amount of strategy and effort to expand your reach and market position quickly and correctly.

We work with our clients to service every one of their business development needs and in that effort, one of our most important responsibilities is making new connections for them. We help our clients by providing them with introductions to new customers, strategic partners, capital sources, and others, in a constant quest to build out the pipeline.

As we’ve seen quite often, though, once we make these introductions by email, our clients have been tempted to either remove us from the conversation or “BCC” us. That’s honestly the last thing we want or would expect.

We’re all about B2B relationships and fostering connectivity, but we’re committed to the total success of our clients and want to see these collaborations come to life and flourish at the same time. If you move us from “CC” to “BCC”, you’re limiting the full impact we can bring to the table.

We want to stay engaged with our clients and provide guidance around the customers and partners we bring to the table because we approach business development as more than just an introduction. Biz dev isn’t just about initial meetings, it’s about goals and objectives. We want you to CC us so that we can monitor and steer your business towards those goals. We can’t do that from the sideline. Bizydev wants its clients to consult us on any issue or question pertaining to growth so that they feel like we are truly just an extension of their company and not an outsourced accelerant. 

So, going forward, don’t worry about cluttering our inboxes. Include us and consult us throughout the process because that’s what we’re here for.


Header

Emotional Intelligence and Business Development

Judging from my short stint as an associate at a business development firm, this industry is not for the introverted or antisocial. It requires, most principally, the ability to communicate and connect with people across different sectors and over different platforms. If you’re unwilling to do so, you probably won’t make it very far. The business development industry is fundamentally an industry of connections. Thus, successful examples of business development most often come from people willing to engage with others. 

But, there are millions of extroverts around the world, so what separates the best communicators from the average? The answer: emotional intelligence. Naturally, everyone would like to think that they’re as emotionally intelligent as they can be and that they possess all the skills necessary to be a great communicator. In many cases, unfortunately, their self-images are overstated. True emotional intelligence is not only the ability to read, understand, and react to other people’s emotions, but it’s the ability to analyze your own emotions and reign them in or properly convey them.

It seems obvious where these skills would play into business development. In an industry where establishing relationships and networking is paramount to your success, a high level of emotional intelligence is almost a shortcut to the finish line. So shouldn’t a skill that can minimize miscommunication issues, endear you to a necessary business connection, and help you analyze your own goals be developed as much as, if not more than any other skill? I think so.

If you choose to believe that emotional intelligence is a quality that is necessary to successful business relationships, then you might also be wondering how you can improve it. I have found that the best way to develop your emotional intelligence is practice. Make more deliberate efforts to reach out to potential connections, have more coffee chats, attend more conferences. And, while you do so, be mindful of your own behavior. Take note of how you phrase things, make an effort to show that you’re listening, even making eye contact will help you better understand your counterpart. The misconception that emotional intelligence is simply the ability to read others is where most people fall short. Self-awareness is key to productive relationships, and it needs to be a quality more present in the business world. 

Emotional intelligence is an important part of Bizydev’s approach to their service. We maintain that sincere, mutually beneficial partnerships are key to business growth in any industry. By ensuring that our relationships and the relationships that we help establish between other firms are conducted with a high degree of emotional intelligence, we are setting ourselves and our associates on a path to success.


Virtual Reality

From Virtual to Reality

As the world makes the shift away from Zoom meetings and back to in-person activities, the adjustments that we’ve made to our business strategies over the last year and a half will likely be tossed to the wind by most people. Why shouldn’t they be? After all, living room couch to corporate board room isn’t a natural switch. I would posit, however, that we should not overlook the lessons that working and living online for such a long time has taught us.

In the first place, being able to jump from meeting to meeting without leaving your chair has probably taught us some valuable time management skills. It may have taught you that you can squeeze more into a day than you had previously thought possible. Or, maybe it taught you that you need the commute time in between activities to clear your head, gather your thoughts, and prepare for the next meeting. 

Personally, working online has taught me that I need to do a better job of structuring my time. I learned the hard way that online scheduling tools don’t include regular lunch breaks, but also that thirty minutes is all you really need to both connect with someone and brainstorm with them about business. Each of these lessons guided my work habits to a more productive place, and will be valuable as I return to in-person activities. But, not everyone has to come away with some profound wisdom about their time management skills, just analyze the parts of your day that you enjoy and see what you can do to continue them when you’re back in the office.

And, as we return to some semblance of normalcy, we’ll also have to consider how the relationships we’ve formed and maintained over the course of the pandemic will change. If you got a new job, hired new coworkers, or made any sort of connection lately, their perceptions of you are likely informed by the virtual images that you have presented to them. That means your clothes, your cluttered desk, and your kitchen cabinets that have been in the background of your Zooms could be most of what your coworkers think of you. It will be up to you to change or preserve their perceptions by the way you carry yourself when you meet them in person.

Even still, socially distanced relationships have had their benefits. For instance, because we have regular and normalized access to technology that helps us communicate, meeting someone in-person for the first time doesn’t have to be as awkward as it used to be. Whereas we’ve always had the option to Facetime or call before meeting someone in person, it is now less unusual to establish a visual report with someone by having a quick Zoom call before you meet them in person. Clearly, business networking saw what online dating was doing right. People decided that the most efficient way to meet new people wasn’t shaking their hand at a networking event, but clicking on their profile. 

Furthermore, it might be difficult to resume conducting our business in person, but using the lessons we’ve learned over the past year and a half will certainly help. For instance, if you felt comfortable networking and meeting new people in the comfort of your own home, think about what made you feel comfortable and see if it can translate elsewhere. Or, since the distance has forced many of us to prioritize work in our relationships, try to find areas of common interest with people you already know and make your connections more personal. Resharpening our social skills might be a difficult process, but it’s not one we need to rush. 

Because technology has been so crucial to conducting business, we should appreciate the impact that it had on our successes. This pandemic has opened new channels of communication and has shown us that we don’t need to meet in person to get things done. Sometimes a quick Zoom call or slack message is the more efficient way to communicate. And that’s okay. We shouldn’t feel obligated to return to the office or to in-person activities just because we see others doing it. If technology has made your business easier to conduct, embrace it. There is no question that it offers an enormous amount of flexibility to business owners, employees, and customers alike. 

Every business-person should assess whether working in person or online makes the most sense for them. If you prefer the convenience of sitting in your living room and taking notes on your computer during a meeting, so be it. Just be aware that your coworkers, business partners, or competitors might not do the same thing, and understand the advantages and disadvantages of working remotely. 

A clean-break from the isolated reality of the pandemic might be preferable for some. But for others who don’t want to leave this era having learned nothing from their experiences, it would be helpful to reflect on all the things that working virtually has taught us. The pandemic allowed me to capitalize on my communication skills, my extensive network, and my comfort with technology which all helped my business expand, but it also revealed gaps in Bizydev’s strategy that needed to be filled. I would recommend that everyone be equally self-conscious in their analyses of their pandemic experience.


Bizydev

Introduction to the Bizydev Blog

Welcome to the first-ever post in what is sure to be the most prolific and prolonged blog series in business development history. We’re very excited here at Bizydev to accompany you on your business development journey to a place of sustained growth and financial prosperity. Flash photography is permitted, but please keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

In all seriousness, we’ve created this blog because we believe that our experiences and expertise deserve to be shared with the business community as a whole. It’s a soapbox for us to express all the ideas we’re generating and conversations we’re having internally that might be useful to the broader world. By putting out thought-provoking, informational, and interesting content, we aspire to help anyone who’s interested in entrepreneurship or business development get more familiar with the industry. But, beyond that, we just want to create pieces that are compelling and conceptually accessible to anyone. We hope that you get something out of our content, but if not, we thank you for taking the time to engage with us. Happy trails!