by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus
When some business owners hear the term market trend analysis, they cringe. But what sounds complex is actually a simple concept: You need to keep a pulse on the trends in your industry so that you can guide your business strategy in the right direction. This allows you to stay ahead of the curve and keep pace with your competitors. It doesn’t need to be a cumbersome or time-consuming process: There are some easy steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to begin to uncover and follow market trends in your industry.
- Keep track of industry influencers. There are plenty of Instagram influencers for fashion, food, and travel—but there are also social media influencers for business. You should know the key movers and shakers in your field and tune in to what these people are saying on channels like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Do not try to follow everyone: Curate a diverse group of individuals to follow that you feel will provide valuable insights for your business. The goal is to stay part of the conversation.
- Read something new daily. What are the most recognized publications in your industry? Try to read one or two articles from these sources every day. You will find that most articles will link to further information, such as lengthier industry reports that cite specific trends and data. Most of the time, key insights and figures will be highlighted in the article itself, saving you time but also keeping you well informed.
- Pay attention to your digital analytics. Are you in tune with what your customers want and need? Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor where your online customers are coming from, what queries or keywords they are using to find you online, and how long they spend on your website. Google Trends also allows you to pinpoint the top queries and keyword searches in your industry and compare them over time.
- Tap into your client base. Your clients—past, present, and future—are a great source of information. What more could you be doing for your clients? How can you better serve their needs? What are they looking for that they can’t find? Ask clients the right questions to get a better sense of your target market’s preferences and how they might be changing, along with any emerging trends in customer behavior.
- Foster a relationship with others in your field. It is important to hear and learn from others’ perspectives, such as other CFOs, business owners, or entrepreneurs. Whether you join a local organization or make an effort to regularly attend networking events, try to foster long-lasting relationships with some of your peers.
Our fractional CFOs provide valuable insights to business owners and can help your organization keep a pulse on market trends. Would your organization benefit from a part-time CFO? If you are interested in learning more about our outsourced CFO services, please reach out to our team.