No matter how large or small a business may be, competition is going to be stiff. There are few businesses that literally own a market because of lack of competitors in their market or industry and that’s why it is critical you stay on top of industry trends. If you have any hope whatsoever of growing your small business, it’s those industry trends that will help propel you to the top of your market, whatever that may be.
Stay Current on Industry News
It should go without saying that every business needs a social media presence in the current business climate. What many small business advisors recommend doing, besides frequently updating your social pages and responding to comments, is to keep your newsfeeds updated. In this way, you can stay current on industry news that may have a major impact on your company without the need to search Google for the day’s (week’s, month’s) events. Just don’t forget to check those feeds regularly to stay current!
A Good Mix of Online and Offline Marketing
Even small businesses know the benefits of online marketing because most new clients/customers find them via such avenues as Google local. Few people in today’s culture find new businesses the “traditional” way and even fewer yet have ever heard that time-worn expression, “Let your fingers do the walking through the Yellow Pages.” However, it still pays to employ local marketing tactics such as using print pieces and branded merchandise.
Lapel Pins for Instant Brand Recognition
You can get custom gifts, like a lapel pin, that quickly become a fashion statement and promote your small business at the same time. It’s often more effective to give those lapel pins away as a promotion. Stop for a moment to think about all those organizations that give lapel pins to members. They immediately identify the wearer with the organization, i.e. Veteran’s Rotary lapel pins or Kiwanis lapel pins. You see them and instantly identify the wearer with the group. Wouldn’t that be a great marketing strategy for your small business?
Trade Journals and Industry Magazine Subscriptions
While it might sound a bit outdated to actually subscribe to hardcopy trade journals and industry magazines, this is where you’ll find the most current industry news. Having said that, you can also find online subscriptions to those very same periodicals. No matter which route you choose, digital or hardcopy print, you can stay current within your industry and this is of vital importance to any business, large or small. Want to stay a step ahead of the competition? It pays to be able to forecast market trends!
Customer Engagement Is Really the Bottom Line
No one can tell you what is happening in your market quite like your very own customers. Bear in mind that trends are often Gone with the Wind, to borrow that iconic title. What is trending today may be obsolete tomorrow and no one can better indicate the direction the market is going than your customers. Why not give them a short survey to fill out asking them what they love about your company, aren’t thrilled with, and would like to see in the future.
Not only will engaging your customers online better help you stay ahead of trends within your industry but it will keep that bounce rate low as well! Many people will fill a short online survey. Doing so keeps them clicking internal links, giving your website better rankings with the search engines, while at the same time giving you the information you need to stay on top of market trends. From building a brand with trendy lapel pins to engaging your customers, small businesses need to stay on top of industry trends if they want to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.