As a business owner, you need to keep your thumb on the pulse of your industry and remain aware of what’s happening in the world of business. This gives you a solid view of the industry, early insight into what changes may be coming and a chance to adjust your business to stay ahead of the competition.
There are many ways you can keep yourself up to date, but some of them — like attending small business conferences and events on a regular basis, or tracking industry data and statistics — are not exactly practical for an over-scheduled business owner.
Here are four ideas to keep you in the loop on business news and trends with just a little bit of dedicated time.
Read Business Publications
Industry publications are a great way to track news and trends because that is exactly why they exist! Some general business publications worth checking out include Business Insider, Business Day, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, The Economist, Fortune, Inc. and Entrepreneur. Most of these magazines have online or app versions that make it quick and easy to absorb your business news.
You should also check out industry-specific magazines and journals to make sure you’re reading the most relevant content. And don’t forget about reading the newspaper, too. Newspapers like Punch, Guardian Nigeria, ThisDay, Vanguard and a number of others have business sections.
Use Twitter Lists
Another way to track business news and trends is by using social media. Twitter, in particular, is great for this because you can compile a wealth of bite-size information quickly in order to determine what is worth your time to read through.
Make sure you organize your news sources into a Twitter lists within your account so you can easily track and review posts. And when you’re really pressed for time, try using the Favorite function in Twitter to create a bookmarked list of articles to read later.
Leverage Google Alerts
There are so many ways to use Google Alerts. You can set alerts to manage your online reputation, track mentions of your brand and to keep tabs on the competition. You can also use Google Alerts to track business news.
Start by creating an alert for your specific business industry, “construction business” for example. You can also track things like “marketing trends” or “business technology” to hone in on topics you are especially interested in. As you play around with different alerts, keep in mind that using quotes around a group of words will search for that specific term, and you can use a minus sign in front of words that you want to exclude. This will help you fine-tune your alerts.
Use an RSS Reader
Yes, RSS readers still exist. Despite the hubbub in 2013 when Google shut down Google Reader, RSS is still alive and well. And it’s one of the most efficient ways to keep up with what’s happening in the business world. Of course, Google Reader was one of the most popular ways to aggregate relevant content, but there are alternatives out there. Check out Feedly, NetNewsWire for Mac, or NewsBlur.
While some of these techniques require a little work up front, they will make it easier for you to streamline the process of tracking business news and trends consistently, keeping you on top of important things happening in your industry and the business world.
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