In the business world, you can never afford to sit still for long. Whatever industry you’re dealing with; it’s bound to change and adapt over time. If you don’t keep up with these ever-changing trends, you’re going to fall by the wayside.

As competitors take advantage of new ideas and future-proof their companies, you’ll be the one holding onto old successes. It won’t be long until your business is a total bust.

It’s tough to keep track of industries and competitors when you’re running a business. Ownership is a complex job as it is, and it demands almost all of your time. But, it’s not as hard you might expect to keep up with the trends of the industry, as we’re about to find out.

Bring a mentor or an expert onboard

We’re often too busy to carry out research about our industry and the trends within it. In a case such as this, it can be easy to adopt the mentality of “I’ll do it later.” Unfortunately, later never comes, and industries can change in the blink of an eye.

Enlisting the help of a mentor can put this task in the hands of a trusted professional. This might be an employee of yours, or it might be an outsourced individual brought in specially to help.

Google alerts

If you’re yet to have heard of Google Alerts, it’s about time you did. The idea of it is to monitor the web for content you specifically want to see. Google is filled with billions and billions of pages about everything from construction to cat videos.

You haven’t got time to trawl through them all, so Google Alerts is a way of trimming the fat. Set up a few tailored alerts related to your industry, and you might just come across some useful information.

Podcasts

Even when you’re busy, podcasts are a great way of keeping up to date. What do you normally listen to during the car journey home? The radio? A Justin Beiber CD? For your sake, I hope it’s not the latter! Seriously, though, you could switch it up with a marketing podcast or sales podcast.

You’re keeping up to date and learning new stuff, and it won’t take up any extra time. There are lots of educational podcasts out there for most industries. Subscribe to the best ones and stay informed. Take your personal growth seriously.

 Subscribe to industry blogs

A free and easy way to stay in the loop is to subscribe to online industry publication, blogs, and magazines for news delivered straight to your inbox.

Make time to read new posts. Get into the habit of reading through them at the same time each day, whether that’s first thing in the morning, before you shut your computer off for the day, or during your lunch break.

Although the quality of blogs can vary, many are a great source of current information. You can tools like Panda and Feedly for all your industry blog updates.

Follow influential on social media

Social media has become one of the best up-to-the-minute sources of news. Never before have people with knowledge, fame and power been so personally accessible to the public. Most experts now freely share their knowledge with their audience. Don’t be left out.

By following well-known experts and industry people on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, you’ll absorb the latest information and opinions, while you get your daily social media fix.

Networking

As a business owner, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll get an opportunity to network at some point. Whether it’s during an important meeting or at a trade event, you’re bound to come across acquaintances.

You might be tempted to rush away to complete an important bit of work, but keep in mind that networking is just as important. You never just know who you might meet or what you might learn by talking to likeminded individuals.

Look at your own trends

If you ignore your company’s own trends, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Keeping track of analytics will allow you to identify areas of success and failure within the business. And, crucially, it can also help to showcase how customer trends are changing. Look back a year ago and compare the results to today’s ones. You’ll probably be surprised with how differently customers consume your services.