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Successful business owners understand the risks that come with entrepreneurship and stay ahead by tracking emerging business trends. Here are seven strategies for identifying trends that impact a business.

Learn how to look for information

Assess which trends could impact the business through research, news and business reports. They are available online. Make a list of topics to follow and analyze the data using online trending tools.

Keep a strong network.

A strong network enables business owners to keep up with emergent trends within the industry, well before they become mainstream and the competitors have taken advantage of it. Attend conferences, take part in roundtables and sponsor events related to the business to pick up on ideas about the next big thing.

Have time to read.

Take the time to read and keep up with business trends. Subscribe to several print journals or follow some publications online to track key points that forecast upcoming changes in the industry.

Keep the channels open.

Discover trends that small businesses can easily implement. For example, chatbots have evolved into more personalized ways to reach customers. Make use of tools that make it easier to follow trending news across multiple channels.

Filter trends and choose.

Avoid information overload. Sort things out by asking if: the trend is important; it is actionable; it is consistent with the company’s brand and how its implementation will affect daily operations. Develop a set of criteria to filter through trends and identify which ones to choose.

Get employees involved.

Get employees involved with tracking important business trends and have time for sharing what they have read or heard. Business owners can’t cover them all.

Listen to customers.

Consumer behaviors and habits drive changes that challenge small businesses. Train employees to listen to customers and address their complaints the right way. Tracking industry trends is important for business owners to improve operations, save money and keep customers happy.