If you run your own business you’ll understand time is at a premium. There’s a lot to juggle, including keeping up with changes in your industry. Finding the time though to go fishing for this type of information to keep your business competitive can be tricky, especially when you’re snowed under. However, staying on top of industry changes can be easier than you think. Below are some quick fix ideas and sources to help you stay in the know.
- Social media
Hanging out with industry peers on social media is a great way to keep abreast of changes in your industry. Not only can you find a wealth of news articles to digest you can also network with lots of people at the same time. What’s not to love?
- Google news alerts
By creating a Google Alert, you can get email notifications any time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you. Creating alerts for words or phrases that are relevant to your industry are a very useful way to keep up with newsworthy industry developments as they happen.
The quality of blogs across the web can vary but if you dig deep enough you’ll unearth some hidden gems that should give you some priceless industry insight. From insightful commentary to more personal online diaries, blogs are a good source to help keep your finger on the pulse of your chosen industry.
Sign up for events and conferences and chew the fat with colleagues within your industry. Be sure to mingle with panelists as well as colleagues as both are likely to offer alternative takes on your industry.
- Forums and discussion boards
Scanning a relevant Linkedin group or private forum is another great way to stay enlightened about industry changes looming on the horizon. Ensure you muck in and get involved, rather than be a casual bystander, as you’ll get more out of the experience that way.
- Talk to customers
Dipping into social media can be insightful, but there’s nothing quite like talking to your customers face to face to find out their needs. It’s only once you’ve understood how to address these needs that you’ll have a clear picture of where your industry needs to head.
- Study competitors
Figuring out what industry rivals are up to can help you spot any potential emerging trends. Although sometimes it may feel like you’re heading in opposite directions it does no harm in having a look at what your rivals are up to.
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