Working on a business from home when you’re a Mom? Not a simple thing to do. You have already done the hard part with choosing your niche, registering yourself with the right organizations for tax purposes and even setting up a beautiful home office that meets your needs. What you need to do now, though, is look ahead. Long Term Business Planning means How To Identify The Trends which is important so you can grow as trends change.
It’s one thing to have an entire business set up to work at from the comfort of your own home, but you need to know exactly where it’s going. You may well have put together a business plan that will knock the socks off anyone who wants to invest, but that’s not the same as planning ahead for the possible changes that could occur in your industry.
Whether you’re selling clothes, using the stock market or you’re running a business offering a design service to others, your industry is going to be difficult to keep up with.
Market trends change all the time, and in order to stay ahead of those changes and avoid the competition breezing on past you, you need to have the energy and the will to move with the times and plan for your business in the future. Analysis of the market doesn’t have to be scary, it simply has to be mapped in a way that you can try to see what’s coming. You can do this with a little research. Check out the competition and what they’re doing and look at other companies in the same industry as you. You’ll be able to recognize the trends that happen and you can map your business goals this way.
Considering that market trends tend to move with consumer behavior, you could also work out what your people are doing and what your customers want to be able to work out what will have an impact in your performance as a business. Below, you’ll find some of the ways that you can identify the right trends in your industry.
One of the pitfalls of working from home is that you’re not around the newspapers and publications that would get delivered to an office. Also, you’re working for yourself now which means that you barely have the time to breathe, let alone find the time to read any papers. Trying to find the time and the headspace to read every article that could come your way isn’t easy, but you could invest a little time and money in social media. Keep track of the industry influencers for your business through social media, and you’re going to gain a great insight to their points of view while making sure that you remain in the conversation. Social media is probably one of the best links to the industry you could have, utilizing it is imperative.
Stay Up To Date With Industry Reports
You need to get the realest possible picture of the landscape of your industry. You need to know the direction that it’s heading in and reading up on the reports that come from your industry is going to help you to learn about it.
Utilize Digital Tools
You are working for yourself on your new business, and one of the most important things that you could do for yourself in today’s business landscape is to be accessible to customers. To be able to do that, you need to develop and design your own mobile app. Use a company outside of yourself for mobile app testing and fixing bugs, and speak to freelancers about the design of it, too. Making the most of a digital tool like your smartphone is how you’re going to understand the bigger picture for your industry. If you choose to go beyond this, try out Google Analytics to help you to discover the trends that are searched for by consumers online. Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner can help you here, as they allow you to find your popular keywords and that your target audience use online.
Pay Attention To Customers
If you really want to know what your customers want, the best thing that you can do is ask them. Firstly, customers really appreciate it when a company asks for their help and point of view, which will make you look good. You’re a small business, so knowing exactly what the customers want is going to be good for you. Secondly, learning more about what your business can do to help them solve their problem is going to help you to keep on top of the trends. Customers are going to know some of the industry trends better than you do, because they’re the ones shopping around. By performing regular surveys of your customer base, you’re going to gain some insights into their needs and the possible changes in behavior. Once you have those insights, you can adapt accordingly.
Watch & Wait
When it comes to knowing what’s coming up, your best option is to watch and observe your competition. Are they running their own mobile apps? Do they have a strong social media presence? Are they more popular than you are? The most successful companies out there don’t follow any crowds or competition, they break new ground and they stand apart from the rest of the companies in their industry. You can be exactly that – no matter how small your business is right now. Analyzing the competition doesn’t have to bust your budget, either, not when you can simply watch the website and their social media channels.
Small business entrepreneurs who are setting themselves apart from their families are already juggling everything that they can. The last thing that you want is to be so caught up with balancing a new business and your home life that you don’t look ahead far enough to see how you need to adapt in three, six or even twelve months. Keeping up with the trends in your industry is important – once you recognize this, you’ll have the cemented future for your business that you have always dreamed about.