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- Jen Glantz is an entrepreneur and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire.
- Staying up-to-date on industry trends is key to standing out as a small business, Glantz says.
- This year, she plans to create NFTs for her business and incorporate AR technology into her website.
When I first became an entrepreneur in 2014, I realized that in order to grow and scale my business I’d need to keep up with emerging trends and technology. Since I don’t have a company offering professional-development workshops or consultants, I set aside a few thousand dollars a year in my own business budget for conferences, workshops, and coaching.
Last year, after attending a few online workshops and conferences and vigorously listening to my favorite business podcasts, I realized there were several major trends that I wanted to implement into my 2022 strategy to stay current and have leverage on my competitors.
After a lot of research and planning, I’ve decided this year to incorporate NFTs, cryptocurrency, and the metaverse into the structure of my business. Here’s how.
Using NFTs as membership access
In the middle of last year, I started to find myself curious about NFTs (non-fungible tokens). While a lot of people in my life were buying NFTs that were just digital art, a few entrepreneurs I heard speak on a podcast explained how they were using NFTs for business.
For example, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk has a collection of NFTs that gives holders access to VeeFriends, a private membership club with exclusive perks. Apparel company Official has an NFT marketplace that gives people exclusive access to physical products.
For my business, I’m working to create a collection of NFTs that gives people access to my library of courses. I’ll limit the amount of NFTs in the collection, and customers who buy one can resell it whenever they’d like and transfer access to that course library to the new owner.
Accepting cryptocurrency as payment
I started to notice that more and more businesses, from Starbucks to Whole Foods, were starting to accept cryptocurrency as payment in 2021.
An estimated 114 million accounts hold bitcoin around the world. With more and more people putting their money in digital coins, I felt it was time to accept cryptocurrency as payment for some of my products and services.
While I still plan to only accept cash for big-ticket items over $1,000, I’m going to start accepting bitcoin as payment for lower-priced products and services by using a platform like BitPay to facilitate the transaction.
Using metaverse technology for my customer experience
One major technology upgrade I want to give my business this year involves metaverse technology and augmented reality.
Some businesses are using AR to create a unique customer experience. For example, Home Depot and Wayfair use AR to help people see how furniture pieces will look in their home, while Nike and Kohls use AR to help people virtually try on products.
While I’m still exploring options for my business, I’m tempted to either use AR to create a video game that people can pay to play in the metaverse or install AR for people to try on some of the merchandise my brand sells. Digital platforms are starting to make these features more accessible — for example, Shopify lets sellers use 3D models on product pages to show buyers how a product looks in AR.
While I’m excited to implement these new updates to my business, I’m not in a rush. I’m still developing creative ways to add cryptocurrency, NFTs, and metaverse technology into my growth plans.
For fellow entrepreneurs, I recommend learning as much as you can about the trends you want to add to your business and looking to what other brands are doing for ideas.