November 26, 2014

Pump Up Your Biz Brain: 5 Ways to Stay on Top of Business Trends

top of business trends

Owning a small business is an all-consuming task. Critical work such as customer service, managing staff, tracking the budget, marketing and sales require your constant attention, leaving you little time and energy to focus on the larger trends within your industry.

However, staying on top of technological breakthroughs and innovations is important for business success. By doing so, you will be able to quickly adjust to market forces, save time and identify ways to streamline and strengthen your business processes.

Try to set aside up to two hours each week to do one or more of the following activities to help you keep current:

Subscribe to Business Journals, Magazines and Newspapers

Subscribing to a couple publications can yield big dividends for your business. Bloomberg Business Week, Consumer Reports, Fast Company, Inc, Financial Times, Wall Street JournalWired and this website, Small Business Trends, are just a few of the popular mainstream business publications that cover the latest small business and economic trends.

Keep publications where you spend the most time so you can quickly access them, both online and offline. If you subscribe to print editions, publications often provide free and full access to the digital version, which typically includes interactive content such as informative videos and helpful online tools.

Engage on Social Media

One of the best ways to stay connected is through social media. Through LinkedIn and Facebook groups, you can exchange tips with those within your industry. Groups are also a good place to ask questions about emerging trends and best practice.

Create Twitter lists of influential people in your industry to track what movers and shakers are talking about it in real time. Google+ also has communities where you can find what’s trending and ask other small business owners about industry patterns they are seeing.

Check out MeetUp to find gatherings of others in your industry where you can discuss business trends in person.

Keep an Eye on Business Stats

Agencies such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau and National Bureau of Economic Research all report industry data and statistics that will help you get an idea of national, regional and state trends.

Join Industry Associations

Although you may not be able to fully commit to an industry or trade organization, joining one can be beneficial to your business. These groups are a great way to network and explore how others in your field are addressing challenges and developing new ways to serve their customers.

Take Advantage of Free Training

SCORE,the Small Business Administration and Small Business DevelopmentCenters all have free online training, courses, webinars, blogs and other resources that will help you expand your business and stay up-to-date on important national issues related to your business.

As a small business owner, you know that time is money. So devoting just a small amount of time to understanding emerging trends in your industry can yield big dividends.

Tablet Photo via Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

US Small Business Administration


US Small Business Administration The US Small Business Administration is an independent federal agency that works to assist and protect the interests of American small businesses by delivering the answers, support and resources small businesses need to start-up, succeed and grow. The SBA Community is an interactive extension of the site and features a variety of discussion boards and blogs that allow business owners to connect with their peers, industry experts and government representatives to ask questions, share best practices and get advice.

3 Reactions

  1. How about talking and learning from trend thinkers and analysts? I will soon start a new podcast show with co-host, Lotta Gergils Aston. She is a trendspotting expert.

    What’s your view of the Economist magazine as a source for new trends?

  2. I agree. You should also try to have a network of business owners so that you can keep track of trends real time.

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