We know, it’s easy to get tied up in your own little world running a business — working 16-hour days, weekends, holidays, covering for absent workers, you name it. But there’s a larger world that you can’t ignore. It can be difficult to stay up on current events and trends when you’re running your business… but you really should because these outside forces can have an effect on your bottom line.
Take some time to check the headlines each day, particularly those of your local media outlets such as TV stations, newspapers and industry-related blogs. And then think: Has anything happened, or is anything about to happen, that can change what I offer or even how I do business?
If you’re a convenience store owner, for example, you should be clued into approaching major storms that will create premium demand for items like water, batteries and food, and order supplies as far in advance as you can.
If you’re a bar owner, you can attract customers by throwing viewing parties for sports events or the latest hip TV show.
If you’re a restaurant owner, keep an eye on trend pieces about foods that are becoming popular, and if it makes sense, adjust your menu accordingly to appeal to that demand.
If you’re a dollar store owner and everyone’s talking about fidget spinners, order a few boxes of them before the fad is played out.
You get the idea. There are certainly current events that can impact your business, no matter what your business is.
In every case, make sure to crow about these new offerings in your social media, marketing and advertising.
But beyond using current events to create demand, you should also be paying attention to news from the government and the financial industry, as well as from the trade publications, associations and websites in your specific industry. There might be new taxes or fees that could impact your business, for example. Or new laws or regulations may affect your operations. It’s important to stay on top of all of it, stay ahead of the curve, and adapt as necessary.
A well-informed business owner has a better sense of the market and the forces that control it. He or she knows that business is always evolving, and that the business must keep up — or lose relevance.