Keeping tabs on your industry can help you diversify from the competition and even help you decide monumental business moves like when its a good time to hire. Just as being ahead of the competition is important to maintaining a successful business, equally so is reaching your company goals. As an owner, first know your personal and business goals, then use industry knowledge to make them happen. As they say, knowledge is power.

Let’s say you’re debating whether to bring on another form of revenue or keep growing the stream you have. Well, look at the industry for tips. A good place to start is in the news (business, economy, world events) and publications that focus on your industry. Or, take a listen to podcasts focusing on the areas pertaining to your trade. If you’re paying attention to your industry’s news you’ll know if new markets are starting to open, helping you to decide growth by location for your business. It may be time to seriously think about developing an action plan for R&D to see how your company can expand.

The other side of expansion is by services or products. If there are patterns of industry lows or world events that aim to affect your particular industry in a negative way, it’s time to think of additional revenue streams. My advice, whether your industry is booming or not- never put your eggs in one basket. Two things to pay attention to here- competitors in your industry and additional industries that your company can parallel. Keep your client base and target market in mind with the goal of bringing in great services/products that compliment your current business. For example, if your business focuses on solar energy, maybe exploring cogeneration would be beneficial. Look at what McDonald’s did, a food business that also took interest in real estate.

Do you know enough about your industry?

Written by Eva Gerrits