Is Your Industry Moving On Without You?

By Christina Suter on Oct 20, 2018 at 12:00 PM in Business Issues
Is Your Industry Moving On Without You?

Do you track your industry? Do you know where your industry is going and what's affecting it?

When automobiles took over the buggy-whip industry those who didn't make the change with the trend went out of business. When interior designers, bookstores, or restaurants don't keep up with trends or look at forecasting or changes to come in their industry they are forced to close their doors. 

Every six months or so, intentionally read, attend conferences, and networking events surrounding your industry so you can keep up with trends. Go through your list of competitors, and if you don't have a list, create one. Note whether your list of competitors has grown or decreased and why. Look at the new products or niches your competitors have created and are moving into. What new language are they using? What is their pricing structure? 

Conversations with newbies in your industry are also invaluable. People new to your industry often create new niches and are up on what's trending. Those new to the space also come in with fresh eyes and new business models, they attract new customers, use new technology, and establish systems that may be more effective for your business. 

Along with researching your industry, widen your research and take a look at industries outside of our, but that affect yours. Is there a new way to conduct meetings with people in other states or countries? Is there a new company or team of people with a startup who have a product that could streamline your processes, product manufacturing, or services? 

I admit, especially when I see new people in my industry, I often write them or their new idea or approach off. but more times than not, the new people and their new ideas work and last. So don't discredit the new too soon. Be prepared because novices may affect your industry. 

While reviewing, ask yourself, what does this mean for my industry?

Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers do life and business differently. Keep up with the trends, the trendsetters, and the people who are and could be your customers. 

Make sure to keep your mission statement and vision in the forefront while taking into account the changes happening to and around your industry. The buggy-whip businessman could have moved into making leather goods for cars instead of for horses. If you want to remain relevant and profitable, don't get left behind. Make changes that make sense for your business; changes you can afford and that your customers want.

Use services like Survey Monkey to ask your clients whether they've heard of whatever the new thing is, ask them whether they care, will they use it, and how much they'd be willing to pay for it.