By Dale Isip

In recent years, global events and new technologies have had a profound impact on businesses and the economy. For example, in the early months of 2020, the number of US-based active business owners decreased by 22%, or 3.3 million people. In addition to this, 33 percent of all business establishments expanded telework for their employees in 2021.

Though these statistics are related directly to the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the business world should have an awareness of how industries change in relation to current events, market shifts, public policy, and technology. The following is a guide on how to develop business trend awareness, and how to make the most of having an up-to-date understanding of your industry.

Follow the News

A good way to begin building awareness of your industry is to follow any news on it. You can do this by subscribing to a blog, newsletter, industry magazine, or trade publication. Other ways to follow industry news can include subscribing to an RSS feed, listening to podcasts, or getting updates on different companies through their social media posts. This can expand your horizons professionally, as well as keep you aware of an industry’s possible new areas for economic growth.

After a while, you might notice patterns in how your industry operates – which seasons are better for sales, for example, or when innovations are likely to occur. You might be able to use these patterns to launch better advertising campaigns (if you are a marketer) or, if you are involved in your company’s financial department, make production processes more cost-effective.

Connect with Others

Another good way to develop business trend awareness is to network with those in the industry. In the immediate sense, you could seek out a mentor at work and learn from their experience. Another way to connect with others is to attend trade shows and professional seminars. This is a great way to learn about new products and ideas, as well as meet professionals you might not encounter otherwise at your job.

If you attend such events or seek out a professional mentor, try to do more listening than speaking in your encounters – and come with an open mind, one with a sincere interest in learning. Remember, you are trying to build your awareness of business trends, but also trying to build a relationship – you never know how these industry professionals may be able to help you in the future.

Continuing Education 

A final way to develop business trend awareness is to participate in professional trainings and skills courses. Not only will you develop the skills you need to flourish in your profession, but you will have a more up-to-date knowledge of the latest technologies and trends in your field.

By following industry news, connecting with others, joining organizations, and learning new skills, you will be able to develop business trend awareness. This can provide insight and opportunities you might not find elsewhere – ones that can help your professional future.