No matter the area or type of business you own, increasing knowledge of your industry is essential to success, as it can help you to outperform your competitors. It can also help you stay up-to-date in an increasingly digital world by driving innovation and beneficial change.
This all sounds like great news, but just how should you go about gaining industry knowledge? Here are several ways you can get started.
Find a Mentor
Simple yet effective, finding a mentor is a long tried and tested method of increasing industry knowledge. Your SME can benefit from a mentor in several ways, including by bolstering your company’s reputation and opening a wealth of contacts and networking opportunities. When looking for a mentor, make sure to choose a leader in your industry, as they will be able use their experience to guide you, as well as provide information about how larger companies operate within your field.
Use the Internet
Nowadays, most information you require can be found via a quick internet search, including industry knowledge. Set some time aside on a regular basis to browse the internet, as far from procrastinating, reading blogs written by industry experts, journals and trade specific publications, and interviews with company leaders can help you grow your SME. It may also be worthwhile to create alerts for topics or key phrases, to help you stay one step ahead.
Utilise Social Media
While a great place to find out about your friend’s eating habits, social media is also a fantastic business tool and when done right, can act as a form of online networking. To increase industry knowledge, follow experts on Twitter and read articles that they share, Pin important information and blog posts, or add contacts on Linked in and track their posts.
Sign-up for Courses
Perhaps the industry knowledge you need is less about new developments and more about much needed skills or streamlining business processes. As businesses expand, you may feel a little out of your comfort zone, or perhaps you are struggling to keep up as more businesses adapt to digital change. In this case, consider signing up for courses to increase your skill set and industry specific knowledge, which will in turn, help your SME to compete with larger businesses.
The importance of industry knowledge should not be underestimated. Make sure to read articles and publications, follow industry leaders on social media, reach out to mentors and continually train, to stay ahead of the competition.