For the business industry, the end of each year is always filled is predictions and projections regarding what’s to come. But how many of these projections actually hold true? We can’t really answer that until the New Year has officially begun and life begins to take course. The beginning of 2021 has already been unprecedentedly eventful: an insurrection, a new Presidential administration and an ongoing fight to keep Americans safe – and the economy afloat - amidst a worldwide pandemic.
If there is anyone who has his finger on the pulse of what is happening in the world of entrepreneurship, small business and technology, it’s Nestor Villalobos.
Nestor (aka The Ironman Entrepreneur) is a nationally recognized business leader, mentor, and serial entrepreneur who aims to engage and inspire other business professionals by helping them attain the skills and knowledge necessary to lead full, extraordinary lives. Dubbed ‘The Ironman Entrepreneur’ because of his affinity for athletic challenges and his successful completion of the prestigious Ironman Triathlon, Nestor believes that many of the same multi-disciplinary training principles employed by elite athletes can – and should – be adopted by all entrepreneurs.
Now that 2021 is well-underway, Nestor is able to pinpoint a few 2021 business trends that affect everyone from micro entrepreneurs with a side hustle to corporate CEO’s.
The Future is Now: VR, AR & Mixed Reality for Small Business
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are not just for slaying dragons anymore. The advent of new software and hardware allow individuals to leverage the novel technology to improve work efficiencies and bring teams together. Things like enhanced, collaborative data visualization and customized staff training tools can give business owners the competitive edge when it comes to operations, marketing and more.
The Rise of the Micro Entrepreneur
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a seismic shift in how the workforce perceives job stability. With the advent of easy-to-use online selling platforms such as Etsy and Shopify, everyday folks are testing the self-employment waters without the risk of quitting their full-time jobs. As many aspects of the world continue to exist in a state of limbo due to the pandemic, the number of people turning these “side hustles” into more lucrative, full-time ventures will only continue to grow.
Why Small Business Owners Need to Embrace eLearning
The pandemic forced many small business owners to decentralize their operations to stay afloat. With many employees still choosing to work remotely, managers are now turning to eLearning platforms to help maintain and improve remote worker productivity. With what seems like an infinite amount of tools available online, it can be daunting to discern which ones are worth the investment in time and resources. Nestor recommends Talent MLS which is an award-winning online learning platform he uses with his own team members.
Should Your Small Businesses Adopt A COVID-19 Vaccination Policy?
Businesses have a legal responsibility for the health and safety of their employees. With the emergence of several COVID-19 vaccine options in 2021, navigating the legal and ethical waters for a vaccine mandate can be a minefield. Nestor breaks down the guidance provided by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as well as the rules set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other workplace laws to help managers develop a compliant policy.
After obtaining his BS and MBA degrees from Bentley University, Nestor started his career in product management launching hundreds of consumer products for Dell and CompUSA. After escaping the corporate world (with his soul mostly intact), Nestor entered the world of entrepreneurship after launching his own startup. In 2016, Nestor acquired a controlling interest in Sharp Marketing, a struggling 30-year-old promotional products distributor. Under his leadership, the company has now turned around to become one of South Florida’s fastest growing promo distributors.
Nestor’s enthusiasm for business and athletics is only surpassed by his passion for mentoring and inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. As an Adjunct Professor of Business at Florida International University, Nestor leverages his real-world experiences to inspire hundreds of students in courses including International Business Negotiation, Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship. Nestor’s latest endeavor is Resale Hero, an innovative B2B startup launching in 2021 with the mission of helping distributors and manufacturers that struggle with the complexities of managing resale certificates.