By Evan Vitale
While you don’t need to be on the cutting edge of every trend, your business can experience some short-term and long-term success by watching and following recent business trends.
Trend watching is especially important in making sure your business doesn’t suffer or go obsolete while your competitors move forward because they took full advantage of a trend.
Take for example, Blockbuster Video. Once a dominate player in video cassette tape rental, Blockbuster didn’t make the switch to DVDs in time and suffered a painful death. By the time Blockbuster jumped on the DVD trend, Netflix and other companies were already offering DVD rentals to your door.
When was the last time you observed at trends in your industry?
Again, you don’t have to be on top of every industry-based news story, but you should be aware of what’s going on in your industry and where and how things are moving. Some of the best ways to do this include:
- Reading online industry news.
- Subscribe to online industry newsletters and other publications.
- Creating Google Alerts based on targeted keywords in your industry.
- Attending and participating in annual industry conferences. Here, you should be meeting with and talking to vendors; sales reps; media and others in your industry. Be a sponge at conference.
- Keep an eye on your competition and see how they are reacting to trends. Don’t copy them. Instead, develop your own ideas for services and products based on trends.
- Become more active in social media and read the industry buzz.
- What’s everyone talking about? Don’t watch from the sidelines.
- Get involved in the social media conversation.
Many trends move quickly. Some catch on right away, while others take time. Start now by catching up on recent trends and try to generate some ideas to help grow your business based on recent trends.