For any businessman, staying current with industry news is an essential activity in ensuring that you are in touch with trends and expert industry insights. Being up to date gives you an edge in knowing what your customers want and need. It also gives you an advantage when it comes to dealing with competition. If you are the established brand, staying current enables you to stand your ground. If you are the challenger, then being up to date with industry trends lets you outsmart and out-strategize your other competitors.
Staying current with industry news involves being well-read. There are several good sources of news, commentary and opinion on industry trends.
Keep in touch with fellow professionals in your field. One of the best ways to keep abreast of industry happenings is by keeping the so-called “back channels” open. It’s a good idea to maintain a network of professional contacts, even with managers and employees of companies considered to be your competitors. You can discuss personal and business matters over dinner or a few drinks every week or so. This can help create an atmosphere of camaraderie. Rather than become too antagonistic and competitive, friends can help each other with business. This way, the flow of information is often free and mutually-beneficial.
Monitor press release newswires. Companies and businesses often alert the media of new developments in their products, services, or corporate branding by distributing media releases through PR newswires. There are a few services that offer subscription to these updates, such as prnewswire.com, which will alert you for any new press releases on your identified fields of interest.
Read business blogs. Corporate CEOs, marketing managers, engineers and even customer service managers often run blogs and social network profiles. You can often find out what their companies are up to on these blogs. These bloggers often engage the audience, and let other people contribute ideas and solutions.
Attend conferences and trade shows. These events are gatherings of known experts and practitioners in your chosen field. These might not necessarily bring about newsworthy information, but you can keep updated with the latest trends, discoveries, and ways of doing business through trade events.
Read business news. Lastly, there’s the traditional way of keeping abreast of industry news—by reading the business pages. Newspapers often have dedicated sections for business, and some newspapers even run regular features on certain industries on a weekly basis, such as real estate, construction, mining, technology, science, and the like. If newspapers are too slow for you, you can try online news aggregators like Google News (news.google.com), which organize news items from different publications according to topic and keyword.
Industry news helps businessmen and entrepreneurs make better decisions with regard to running their business, whether a small business or a big enterprise. Information can travel through a lot of channels, whether offline or online. Mostly, it’s through meaningful exchanges of ideas and information that can you be part of the conversation. It’s therefore the responsibility of any business owner or manager to be in the know.