How to keep up with industry trends? A guide!
Industry, business, corporation, organization, all these words are synonymous with each other. Many parameters, individuals, and factors are part of the industry that influence it and drive it. These parameters need revision, upgradations, and changes from time to time.
Keep Up With Industry Trends:
Refer and Subscribe to Trade Journals:
Trade journals are easily one of the most useful resources to keep up with industry trends.
These contain insights from multinational executives, case studies of the top companies and organizations in your niche industry, and developmental/innovative methods that are adopted in the industry.
Trade journals are usually target-oriented to a specific sector of the industry, for e.g., agriculture, automobile machining, software & IT industry, etc. Starting small in reading trade journals is the key.
Pick up a few trade journals centered on your industry domain and read and analyze them through properly in your free time. Subscribe to the journal you like or prefer best; this will keep you on top of your game!
Follow Influencers and Blogs:
The old fashioned ways of running through several magazine pages and newspapers are behind us. It is all about blogposts, influencer marketing, and online journals now.
If you are in the business of content marketing, SEO analysis, website design, graphic designing, affiliate marketing, etc., then what better way to keep up with industry trends than following proper blogs.
The top business influencers of your preference niche/industry are experienced individuals, and their analysis, tactics, and articles will usually be featured on the best business blogs.
You will get tremendous support after going through them and gain some new insights and marketing trends about your industry.
Take Online Courses:
No matter how much of an expert you are in a particular skill, niche, or industry, there are always new things to learn. Perhaps you are an intermediate level Graphic designer; well, go advance by learning a course; maybe you are a beginner in digital marketing; learn new things by taking an online course.
There are several websites like Udemy, Coursera, EdX, etc. which offer online courses and distance learning projects. In today’s world, it is always good to have a few extra skills at hand, which might help you to grow your business. This is one of the best ways to keep up with industry trends.
Online courses are not just about imparting the existing knowledge that you already know. Many times the course creator introduces you to new experience, innovative methods that can help you, and also, you can get into contact with the course creator who may prove to be of real help to you!
Books, Magazines & Newspapers:
But then again, what better than the right old way to gain knowledge? Read books and business magazines! Although it requires effort and a lot of time, there are no shortcuts to success.
There are so many brilliant industrialists, executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, innovators, and professors who have written insightful books. These books are just waiting by itself to be read by you! Their articles also feature in business magazines.
What separates reading books to reading blogs is that you might fall on to some new method of innovation of unknown knowledge in your domain, which may not feature on a blog post.
Plus, Books and magazines provide annotations, scientific studies, marketing trends, and stats, etc., which are useful for you. Books have, for hundreds of years, been a venue to keep up with industry trends.
Social Networking Sites and Forums:
Social networking sites and forums like Facebook, Quora, LinkedIn, Reddit have become a rich source of unique information and statistics that can be utilized to keep up with industry trends.
On LinkedIn, you can network with your work colleagues, seniors, and juniors. It is an excellent way to network, and also insightful blog posts, white pages, and annotations are shared through LinkedIn. Even if you are not familiar with an influential person, you can still follow them, as they are always up to something new.
Quora is another such source, blessed with knowledgeable individuals who are will gladly educate you on your niche domain. It is also a great site to connect and get acquainted with such knowledgeable connected people.
Although Facebook is more of an informal network to connect with friends and family, it is never harmful to join a friendly group of people who are always ready to share innovative sources of knowledge and statistics.
Use Analytical Tools and Software:
There are so many analytical tools and software that are available on the web for access. Some of them are free and provide essential services. Most such software charges a subscription fee every year or a permanent buying fee but gives the best of services for your needs.
Depending on your industry/sector, you can choose from various software like Google Adwords and Analytics, if you are in the content/digital marketing business. SAS Business intelligence, which aids you to assess parameters like management, leadership, engagement, production, and freedom of thinking.
Softwares like QlikSense are handy and an asset if you are in charge of the sales in your organization or you run a business and want to assess the sales & marketing parameters of your organization correctly.
There are many such analytical tools, go through an informative webpage, and you’ll find the perfect software/tool that suits your requirements. Indeed it is one of the ways to keep up with industry trends.
Change is Inevitable:
If the basin at your house is blocked, you call a plumber to fix it. If the plumber cannot correct it, you call in a different plumber with better equipment. If the plumbers still cannot fix it and suggest a change of the pipes connecting the basin to the drain, you change them. Usually, the problem is set there, although sometimes you may need to change the entire pool and pipes for varying issues.
The point is, you don’t change your house for such a problem. Change needs to happen in businesses and industries too. The change should be the most price-efficient to you, should be easy to make, not affecting too much of the other parameters, and should solve the problems.
Although many times in businesses, you will need to make changes that require a good investment, can affect other parameters, even change the entire structures of the organization, and hard for people to accept. But the end motive should not change, that is problem-solving and increasing efficiency.
If you want to keep up with industry trends, you always have to experiment and change with the key positions, software, and machinery, list, management techniques, etc. You have to embrace that change is inevitable.
Assess Your Competitors:
What is a better way to be on your toes and keep up with industry trends than assessing your competitors? Study their balance sheet, study their sales reports, study their management techniques, talk to their employees, and get a feel of what is going on in their side! Get your hand on whatever you may find useful and assess it.
Being toe to toe with your competitors keeps your organization alert, motivated, focused, and hungry for more success.
In industry, whatever sector it may be, you have to toss your ego aside and be ready to tackle any shortcomings on your side and embrace the good points of your competitors. It helps to identify new trends and innovation in the market and industry, in case you have overlooked them.
Networking is so vital in business; it cannot be stressed out enough. The American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie was such a people’s person that he knew the names of every employee who worked for him, and the number of his employees was well above 5000.
Time and time again, it has been proved that maintaining a relationship with your employees/colleagues/executives, competitors, vendors, and, most importantly, customers has led to the growth of the business.
It is perhaps the most critical parameter of any industry, along with innovation and hard work.
Go out, market to your kind (people of your industry domain/sector), question them, let them ask you, talk business! Something or the other that is useful to you will always turn up; if not, at least you have made an acquaintance, which is an asset.
Get Feedback From Your Customers:
Getting feedback is perhaps the most critical parameter in a business or industry when you want to improve on an existing model, increase sales, and sharpen your marketing sector.
Getting feedback from customers is one of the critical practices to keep up with industry trends, and it is followed upon by almost every industry/business sector today.
There are various ways to get feedback, which can range from prompting online feedback forms to changing or introducing multiple products and assessing the response for each product.
The feedback loop is a process that will keep your business alive, focused, alert, and running! And do not forget customers can range from many tiers; these can be distributors, retailers, storehouses, and lastly, consumers.
Podcasts, Videos, and Documentaries:
A new trend that has emerged in business that involves subscription and study of video and audio outlets.
You may have to browse through a few podcasts and influencers before you find the right material for yourself, but when you do, stick to it and subscribe to it. Podcasts are convenient as you can listen to them anytime and anywhere.
Videos are also a great source of knowledge and can aid you in keeping up with industry trends. There are many business-oriented/industry oriented channels on Youtube that you can find which address your sector/domain.
Also, let us not forget the importance and significance of business documentaries, which are a massive source of motivation, inspiration, management methods, and innovation.
Be With Smart People:
Although this may sound a little harsh to some, if you are looking for personal growth and development and want to be able to keep up with industry trends, then you are not going to get there by surrounding yourselves with ordinary people.
Smart people don’t necessarily mean a person with the highest IQ; it also includes individuals who know how to manage and organize crews, it includes individuals who have excellent problem-solving skills, and lastly, people/individuals who are right advisors.
Being with smart people gives you a significant edge and advantage over your colleagues, competitors, or superiors! Moreover, as mentioned previously, these people can act as the guiding light for you; they can mentor you to the right path, teach you new things about your industry!
These points are critical when you are part of an organization/industry or are running your own business. Never be the smartest person in your group!
Treat Your Employees/Colleagues Right:
This point needs to be stressed multiple times because it is one of the critical factors to keep up with industry trends. For many years, large corporations and organizations have exploited their labor force, their key employees, and executives. Many of the organizations still follow that practice.
But always remember, no one will be willing to tolerate this for too long, even if it comes with a lot of money. Everyone comes to their senses and leaves! As industries and organizations are moving towards more employee-friendly working conditions and factors, you should follow suit as well.
Not because others are doing it, but because of human rights. Treat your employees with respect, give them the bonus they deserve, introduce programs and events that engage employees, and take off the edge from stress.
Invest in their development by giving them training opportunities and skill development programs. Create an appropriate medical insurance policy for your employees, which is mandatory in most countries now.
When your employees are happy, they will be committed, alert focused, and will themselves study ways to keep up with industry trends.
To keep up with industry trends is a necessity, failing which many businesses fail, go bankrupt and, along with it, bring down the lives of many who depend on it for their bread and butter.
Are there any more points that you would think would make a suitable addition to this list? Give us the details in the comments!