There’s a saying from the very clever Albert Einstein “If you stop learning you start dying.” This saying could not be more true when it comes to the life of your business. Whilst your accounts, marketing and product/service are essential components to your business the defining factor of whether you succeed or fail will depend on how committed you are in your research.
Here’s some tips on where to start:
Research your industry: Once you start to dig deep into your specific industry, you may be surprised how big it actually is. You may also discover that the industry in which you had initially categorised your business was completely different and you may in fact be in an entirely different industry! Understand the demand for your particular industry. Keep yourself educated on new directions in the industry to stay one step ahead of the game. There may be a new law about to be introduced that could effect your trading next year, or a new product/App that could dramatically change the industry.
Research your competitors: A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone. Competition can actually be good for business and make it thrive and grow – especially if your competitor is doing a bad job. Read about other businesses in your industry and learn from their successes and their mistakes. Pay particular attention to the businesses directly effecting your potential customer base. Don’t make your competition your enemy, they are also supporting that industry and who knows, one day you may even be helping each other out on a big job.
Research your customers: These days there are NO excuses for not knowing who your customers are. Google Analytics can tell you exactly when people are visiting your website, where they are in the world, what products/services they clicked on and what made them leave your website. You can find out when people are shopping most online. You can engage with your customers and potential customers on social media. The amount of information sharing has opened up doors for businesses to understand exactly who their customer is and how they are spending their money. So use this information and watch your business grow!