Vesta Digital Blog

How To Know Everything About Your Business

Posted on: October 6, 2010

business leaderAs a small business owner, it is important to know everything you can about your business and your industry. So how do you stay informed and up to date about your business in order for it to thrive? You must learn new information constantly in order to keep up with developments in your field.

An article on SBA.gov discusses the importance of staying informed. The following is a list of 10 ways to stay informed so you can learn to expand your network of information resources in order to help your small business succeed.

Ten Ways to Stay Informed

  • Subscribe to industry or trade publications that focus on your business or the business of your clients and customers.
  • Join a professional association, chamber of commerce, or network with other entrepreneurs in similar industries.
  •  Look for information on the Internet. Watch for opportunities to interact with business or industry experts in chat room interviews. Put the interviews on your appointment calendar and be sure to show up.
  • Subscribe to Internet newsgroups that focus on your industry.
  • Read newspapers – local and national – to track business trends.
  • Talk to your customers and clients. What issues are troubling them? What is their mission? What factors do they think will affect their business in the future? Ask yourself, “How might this affect my business?”
  • Invest in training: attend a conference or seminar on a subject that affects your business. Once there, don’t be a wallflower. Strike up conversations with other participants. If a session is particularly helpful, go up to the speaker to thank him/her or add a comment of your own. Ask for his/her business card. If he/she agrees, you’ll have a resource who’s just a phone call away when you need a fast reality check. Most people are flattered to be consulted – but remember, their time is valuable, so don’t waste it. Ideally, information exchange should be a two-way street. Do you have information that might benefit your source? Share it with him/her.
  • Visit or call your city library or check out the library at a nearby college. Find out what resources – periodicals, newspapers, reference materials – they offer for someone interested in a business like yours.
  • Recognize that at some point you may not be able to know everything about your business. Learn to use consultants or hire employees who can compensate for the gaps in your knowledge.
  • Cultivate your curiosity. Don’t be afraid to try new things. The most important skill you can develop is not the ability to remember information, but the ability to seek out and find the information you need, when you need it and then use it for the benefit of your business.
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