How to Spot Business Trends

trendsMost businesses small or large have a corporate vision that guides their overall principles, values and long-term goals. Having a true business vision enables executives and corporations to understand and anticipate future needs. The best leaders and companies understand their current market and invest in research and development to either be on the cutting edge of future needs or to shape future needs through their own actions. Establishing a culture of innovation can ensure your corporation can endure through short-term market downturns to realize future potential.

Trend, not a Fad
Understanding what is a trend versus what is a fad is one of the core components of seeing future markets and realizing potential profits ensuring a healthy business. Trend spotting like any other skill needs to be honed and used in order to be effective. Distinguishing between short-term fads and long-term trends requires the ability to understand the difference between the two. A trend takes time to develop and often develops through many different channels in a variety of ways. By doing so it develops strong social roots within various demographics creating a demand that is strong and lasting.

A trend can develop in different places yet have sustainable growth over a long period of time and have pervasive saturation in the market. A few trends of our time include yoga and smart phones, both of which are very pervasive and have long-term sustainable growth. Yoga took centuries to become mainstream yet is now widely accepted, while smartphones currently in their infancy have a long projected growth curve.

Spotting a Trend
There are number of ways for business leaders to recognize trends. For business to survive through challenging economic times, understanding trends can ensure your business is not a fad. Having an active process in place to research and develop information relating to trends can create an innovative culture within your corporation. Having a research and development “team” within your company even if it is only a couple employees that meet once a month to analyze current research and competitors, will help identify trends before they truly mature.

Developing an action plan to take full revenue potential of a developing trend can ensure realized profit through the entire lifecycle of a trend. Being “plugged in” to your industry through networking, seminars and conferences will provide current and relevant information on the direction and focus not only of competition but of academic forces within your industry. There are also times, that an industry leader of a company can actually start a trend through innovation and great marketing. A worldwide known example is how Apple single-handedly stimulated the smartphone trend with the original iPhone.

Taking advantage of current trends and fostering innovation within your corporate culture to discover, realize, invent and start your own trends will enable employees and leaders within your company to capitalize on your business vision, see the future and survive to see it.

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