How to Listen for Changes in the Industry


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How to Lean in and Listen for Changes in your Industry
Like it or not, the world is in flux and the way we do business is changing. In fact, big changes are occurring in virtually every industry, and savvy entrepreneurs are finding ways to embrace emerging business trends.

It’s not always easy to spot emerging trends, to know what’s a trend and what’s a fad, or to identify the opportunities presented by trends. One way to keep up with the trends in your industry is to follow publications and influencers in your field. Read research reports, join online groups, and connect with thought leaders who can help you get a feel for the landscape and shed light on where things are headed.

Another technique is to surround yourself with smart people and listen to what they have to say. You may form an advisory group, but also don’t forget to keep an ear to the ground and listen to your employees and especially your customers about what they see as future needs.

It is often said that in this world, “change is the only constant.” Change brings about opportunities to introduce and develop new ideas, to be more effective and efficient, to create new processes, and to stand out from the “sea of sameness.” Accept change, embrace it, and jump on it when you can. If you spot a trend or come up with a great idea, do something with it so that you can be a first mover.

Trends change industries. Knowing what’s ahead around the curve and evolving your company to the changes on the horizon can keep you competitive.

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6 Technologies We Use Everyday
Thanks to Space Exploration
Since the dawn of human space exploration, NASA and other international space agencies have made scientific leaps and bounds that further not only mankind’s journey into the Final Frontier, but also its technological evolution back here on earth. This month we celebrate International Space Day, and here are six Space Age technologies that exist thanks to these often-unsung heroes.

Memory Foam. You can attribute your comfortable night’s sleep to NASA folks. First developed in 1966, memory foam was created to mitigate the effects of G forces during takeoff and landing, giving astronauts cushioning and crash protection.

Space Blankets. The name might tip you off, but low-weight and heat-efficient Space Blankets are an emergency kit staple, thanks to NASA’s research. They were originally created to stop radiation and evaporation on the outside of spacecraft.

The Dustbuster. The humble portable vacuum was developed for the Apollo space program and originally contained a drill that could extract core samples from the moon’s surface.

Infrared Ear Thermometers. Employing the same technology that determines the temperature of stars and planets by measuring their thermal radiation, the infrared aural thermometer works without contact, which is particularly helpful in monitoring the temperatures of newborns.

CAT Scans. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory paved the way for life-saving CAT scan machines due to its development of digital imaging technology.

The Jaws of Life. The hydraulic rescue tool credited with saving millions of lives uses the same components as the device used to separate rocket boosters from the orbiter.

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Worth Reading

7 Compelling Reasons
Why You Should
Redesign Your Small
Business Website
By Amanda Bowman
An effective website is critical for business growth. Your website needs to reflect any new strategy you have. If you’re wondering whether you should refresh your business’s digital presence, check out this article. It explains common situations when a redesign is necessary and gives tips on what to look for in the process. Sometimes, as this article explains, changing a few design
elements could be just as effective as a
complete overhaul.
Read More

Why You Might
Want to Rethink
Data, Privacy,
and Content
By Jodi Harris
Content Marketing Institute
Having a solid social media presence
is key for company growth. More often
than not, companies grow in
part through data collection and
analysis. But for every success
story, there seems to be many
cautionary tales of data breaches or
misguided social media campaigns.
This article gives practical advice
about how to make ethical, wise
decisions about data.
Read More

How to See Your Clients Without Seeing Your Clients
There are a variety of techniques you can use to stay in touch with clients even if you can’t see them in person. Here are a few practical tips to help get you started.

Choose the right online tools and apps. Check out Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts to kick your video conferencing into high gear. Zoom also offers Room and Workspace solutions and a cloud-based phone system to take your day-to-day operations online.

Virtual meetings. Make sure your setup is sound so you can conduct a virtual meeting with confidence. If possible, use a laptop instead of a phone, and take the time to test your chosen software. When it comes to the call, dress the part, turn off notifications, and look at the camera (not the screen) when talking to make the meeting feel real.

Offer a webinar. Webinars are the perfect way to engage with your clients and create content for future audiences. It’s a cost-effective way of fostering brand confidence through education, with the option of Q&A sessions and direct feedback. Check out WebinarJam and ClickMeeting for more information.

Offer a virtual classroom. Once you’ve got a handle on webinars, take things a step further and offer a virtual classroom experience with software providers like BigBlueButton and LearnCube. Rather than a simple lecture scenario, it opens up interaction further, allowing clients to connect too.

Once you get started with connecting virtually, explore other ideas and up your video marketing game. Consider online demos, online office hours, FAQs, videos, or broadcasting live on your social media channels. The possibilities are endless.

Growing Your Business – Keeping Current
Staying on top of business news can be daunting, especially if you’re looking for insight into news and trends specifically for building and maintaining a business. Here’s some suggestions for places to go for news you can use now and inspiration for future projects:

Inc. Magazine

The online home of Inc. magazine gives general interest news and advice here, or subscribe to the newsletters and have it sent to your inbox:

Read More

Business Insider

Get updates
on worldwide trends
and business
news here:

Read More

Social Media Examiner

Stay current with
the latest happenings
in the world of
social media here:

Read More

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Get expert advice from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and find ways to connect with chambers of commerce across the United States here:

Read More

7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Your Business
Have you ever felt as though you and/or your business was in a rut? Being in a rut makes everything harder, more tedious, more complicated, more frustrating. Here are some ways to reignite your enthusiasm and passion and climb out of that rut.

Figure out why you’re there. Put words to your situation by saying something like: “I don’t feel challenged by this business,” “It’s an ongoing financial struggle,” or “I’m bored with the day-to-day routine.” Often a single moment of clarity around what’s causing your malaise is enough to get you back on track and enable you to find new purpose.

Move things around or change things up. The simple act of switching things up can often fill you with energy. It may be as simple as rearranging the furniture in your home office or room that you’re working from, adding a plant for new energy, or changing the color of the walls. A new look for your environment goes a long way toward giving you a fresh perspective on it.

Introduce something new. Delving into a new project, launching a new product, or landing a new client is sometimes all it takes to get your energy flowing and enthusiasm back. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to introduce a new service or way to connect to help during these times. Consider creating a course or hosting a webinar, office hours, or an online event.

Get rid of whatever is driving you nuts. It might be an annoying customer, an outdated system, or a cupboard full of junk. Whatever that thing is, address it today.

Get after that “to-do” list. There is something cathartic about emptying the “in” tray and crossing tasks off the list. It feels like the slate has been wiped clean and you can start afresh.

Talk to someone. It’s helpful to have a supportive confidante who will listen to you, let you get issues off your chest, and perhaps even help you pinpoint the real cause of your dissatisfaction.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter.