Is your industry continually shifting direction?
Changing economic landscapes, advancements in technology, and adjustments to legislation and regulation in your industry are a few examples of factors that influence the nature of your business.
If you want your company to remain relevant in the digital age, you need to stay updated and on top of your industry trends as they happen.
Here are 7 ways you can use to keep your head above water in a dynamic business environment for more success ahead.
1- Track Business Trends in Your Sector
Keep an eye on your product or service line. Are sales of your top-selling items dropping? Are your customers asking specific questions related to new offerings available in the market?
Are there any signs that you might have overlooked that need more attention and focus to help you be on top of things?
Identifying any slight changes in your business will assist you in identifying potential threats and opportunities.
2- Subscribe to Industry Magazines and Trade Journals
Read up on changes in your industry by subscribing to online newsletters and trade journals. Develop a habit of dedicating one day every month to reviewing the journals for the latest trends in products, hiring, logistics, and management tips related to your industry.
Really study the material you’re reading and underline the specific tips that apply to your business.
Take as many notes as possible and ask yourself what you can do to implement any new ideas you’ve learned.
3- Organize and Attend Networking Events
Review social media for any industry-specific networking events taking place in your area. Attend with your team and ensure that you arrive at the venue with a planned agenda.
Set goals for meeting new prospects and networking with industry influencers. If you can’t find any networking events in your area, consider creating your own.
Before you head out to any event, ensure that your team is easy to identify. Turn your team into brand ambassadors and provide them with matching jackets or ties, as well as branded lapel pins to promote your company at the event.
Always stay in touch with new contacts you meet at any event and follow-up with any influencers or prospects within 48-hours.
4- Subscribe to Blogs and Website Newsletters
Trade journals aren’t the only source of industry information. Online sources such as blogs and e-newsletters offer tremendous value in tracking industry trends.
Make a list of your top influencers and primary competitors. Visit their sites and sign up for their newsletter and add their blog to your RSS feed to be notified as soon as they release new material.
When signing up with your competitor’s email list, ensure that you use a private email account that’s not linked to your business.
5- Stay Plugged into Social Media
In today’s digital age, if your business doesn’t have a presence on social media, you’re leaving money on the table.
Register social accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. Work with a social strategist to implement a marketing campaign.
Check in with influencer and competitor accounts to keep track of developments in your industry as they happen.
Every other day, run a search on LinkedIn and Twitter for keywords relevant to your niche and review the results for any points of interest.
6- Search for Podcasts and YouTube Videos
Did you know that YouTube creators upload 135-hours of content to the platform every second? That’s a staggering statistic to wrap your mind around. Search niche keywords on YouTube and subscribe to any channels relevant to your industry.
Podcasts offer excellent insight into market trends and influencer strategies. Download a list of podcasts and listen to them during your commute to and from the office.
7- Read and Engage with Discussion Boards and Forums
Search for the top two forums related to your industry. Open an account and begin posting on their message boards. Interact with forum moderators and forum influencers to establish your credibility within the community.
When using forums, be sure to use them to learn and to teach others with your own insight, but don’t use forums to directly promote your business or brand as this strategy may land you with a ban.
Those simple strategies will definitely help you to stay on top of your industry and help you grow a more successful business.