It is important to understand what is going on in your particular business arena. Finding out what’s popular and what’s not so popular anymore is helpful information when deciding where and how to spend your business dollars. Staying ahead of the competition by being ready when opportunities are presented is a constant part of running a small business.
Talking to prospective customers is always informative, and sending out occasional surveys or questionaires to garner information as to how your products are being viewed, used and appreciated can be very helpful.
Attending conferences and training sessions with other like minded business owners and associates can give good insight as well as different perspectives on your area of industry. Getting expert input from experienced colleagues can be invaluable and can often save you from problems and mistakes they have had to deal with.
Make use of internet podcasts and online learning opportunities whenever possible to keep current on business jargon and the latest in advertising and marketing data. Having the correct vocabulary and business information will allow you to speak more effectively when discussing trends an styles.
Trade journals specific to your business interests and consumer magazines have always been and will continue to be an outstanding source of quality information if you have the time to read and jot notes or highlight the needed, helpful tidbits and articles that are of assistance to you. A few minutes here and there is all it takes to gather a little useful info.
Keeping up to date will help you make quicker, more effective business decisions, opportunities will be easier to spot and negotiate and you will be developing skills that lead to improvement in all facets of business expertise.