It's also important to keep your eyes on the future of your industry. It's even better if you can lead the future of your industry. Go on-line, read trade journals, watch technology and constantly listen to your customers. Set aside part of your schedule every week to study your industry. Knowledge is the key to making informed decisions. Gather all the information you can, then trust your instincts.
“No trend lasts forever. Every market is maturing. Growth and decay is as natural a process in business as it is biologically. This means that there are trends underway today, however imperceptible, that will affect the way you do business in the future — or determine whether you will be in business many years from now.”
To be a leader in your industry, you need to stay informed. What are the best sources of current information for your industry?
Websites / Blogs / etc.
When to Be a Follower
Keeping your business on the cutting edge is your responsibility, but sometimes it pays to be a follower. That is, when you're following your customers. In the 60s, for example, it became trendy for young people to wear jeans that they had customized with embroidery, patches or paintings themselves. In response, blue jean manufacturers introduced pre-customized jeans to the market. The product was successful, and jean manufacturers were able to capitalize on a consumer-led trend.
What current market behaviour might indicate the presence, or emergence of, a consumer-led trend in your industry?
“I don’t set trends. I just find out what they are and I exploit them.”