When it comes to running a successful business, no one has a crystal ball that predicts the future of the industry. What you do have is the ability to use data from a number of sources to gather information that will allow you to make an educated prediction about the future health of your business. Today there are more sources of information available than ever before that can be used to make these predictions. The key is to know which information to use and how to use it in order to make the forecast you need for your respective industry. Below are five ways to find and use data to predict where your industry is heading.
Much of the information that you can use for industry forecasting is the same that is used in the creation of an initial industry analysis outline. One of these sources of information is social media. Michelle Fontaine, social media forecaster, states in her blog that it is important to know what social trends are through analyzing trends on social media sites. This information can tell you which industries will be growing in the future and which may be dying. When using social media outlets to garner information about industry trends, it is important to keep the personal separate from the business. With so much noise flying by, you have to learn which information to grab a hold of and which information you can let go.
Listening to the Forecast
Creating an industry analysis outline means having to gather information, decipher it, and organizing it in a way that is relevant to your industry. Taking the time to match this data with the forecast of those who forecast social trends is a prudent move these days. Take the time to listen to what they are saying in reference to issues that could influence the direction of your industry. In a Wall Street Journal article, an example is given of how trend forecasters have helped predict the future of the fashion industry and how they could do the same for other industries.
Advances in technology help to shape the way we live and think. It is important to stay informed about any recent discoveries in technology that could have an effect on you industry if you want to stay ahead of the competition. It pays to listen to daily tech news. It also helps to read recent tech journals that may cover technologies related to your industry. This information will hold great insight for what is to come for a particular industry.
The State of the Union
Keep informed about the trends in current politics. Major elections and which party currently controls the White House have an effect on Wall Street. What happens with the stock market will eventually have an effect on the spending habits of the average consumer. If you look over the spending trends in the past that matches the current political state, then you can better predict consumer habits. All of this information can be obtained by simply staying informed in regards to current politics on a national and state level. Research how the economy and your industry were doing the last time the current trends in politics took place. This will provide you with a wealth of knowledge about what the future hold for your industry.
Knowing the Competition
Whether you are managing a local restaurant or are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it is always wise to know your competitors. You should gather information about your competitors in the same way you would for an industry analysis outline. The key information you need to gather is what current businesses in your industry are doing and who is entering into your industry. First check and see what the state of the stock prices are for those currently in your industry. See how these prices have been trending in the recent past. Once you have done this, it is time to research any businesses that are coming into your industry. The current fiscal health of these businesses coupled with the amount of new startups will provide you with the information you need.
Knowing how to gather information and analyze it to recognize future trends in your industry can give you an advantage over your competition. This information can also help you better manage your resource so you can ensure the success of your business for years to come. While you can’t look into a crystal ball or ask a magic mirror to predict the future trends of the industry, with some understanding and dedication you can take the future of your business into your own hands and identify where the future of your industry is headed.