Managing and keeping up with innovation and trends in any industry is not often an easy task, yet it is expedient that every manager and entrepreneur must stay ahead of the curve.
“Set yourself to succeed,” says Lydia Sarfati, CEO and Founder of Rèpéchage, a manufacturer of professional skin care products. Lydia acts on trends annually. For example, in 2008 she created the facial bar concept in response to difficult economic conditions. The new product allowed customers to enjoy “luxury, but at a lower price point and in a shorter amount of time.” People did not have to spend hours at the spa, and it helped boost retail sales for the spas.
So firstly, keep yourself abreast with information hovering around your industry or line of business. Buy books related to your business. Don’t just buy them, but also read them. To keep yourself informed, you have to READ!
2.) Subscribe to relevant daily newsletters, mails and publications. This is one sure way to be in-the-know of certain issues in your industry. Subscribing alone is not enough pay attention to the materials and read them deeply; don’t just glance through. Make sure you reflect on the information.
3.) Surf websites and blogs. Learn to surf websites and blogs in relation to your industry. Although the quality of sites and blogs may vary, but they are great sources of current information. Pay attention to topics that re-occur on every website and blog in your line of business because that is the “trendy information” you might be looking for.
4.) Network. Enlighten yourself by going out for conferences, local events, and training. These avenues can be very helpful as you get to meet face-to-face with other entrepreneurs in your field. This is important because, as the saying goes, “No man is an island”. Cultivate the habit of learning from other people.
5.) Use the Internet wisely. It will be of great help to follow individuals that set the pace in your line of business on social media. From them, you learn quick tips and can get links to other appropriate articles. Look for contributors in your industries on your social media platforms, and follow them!
6.) Observe your competitors. Sometimes, looking out for what your competitors are up to can help you figure out if they are responding to an emerging trend. Even though you may not be able to totally figure out their methodology, careful observation of your competitors can help you get a headway.
Finally, decide on how to implement the trend in your business. Gathering information on trends is useless if you don’t have a detailed plan on how to implement it in your business. You can set a plan on how to implement them – yearly, or quarterly. Note that implementing the trends is not the the only way you can impact your business positively. Consider how your actions may affect your customers positively.