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Trendspotting 101 — How to Stay Ahead of the Curve in Your Industry Learn how to spot and capitalize on emerging trends in your industry with these practical tips.

By Candice Georgiadis Edited by Chelsea Brown

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is nothing that compares to staying ahead of the curve in your industry as an entrepreneur. For many years, trendspotting has worked for me as an entrepreneur, and this is a key strategy when it comes to staying ahead of the curve in any industry.

In this article, we will take a dive into trendspotting, techniques for trendspotting and other strategies. So, let's dive right in.

Related: 4 Strategies to Help Your Company Stay Ahead of the Competition

What is trendspotting?

Trendspotting is the identification of emerging patterns, changes in the market and shifts even before they occur in a particular industry. It is more of a proactive approach that allows businesses to anticipate future trends and stay way ahead of their competition in the market.

The main goal of trendspotting is to gain a competitive advantage within your industry, and it has been proven to increase competitive advantage with big data by 83% for businesses that capitalize on it.

To effectively implement trendspotting as an entrepreneur, here are some practical tips to help you stay on top of your industry:

1. Analyze past trends

Analyzing past trends is the first step in understanding the evolution and trajectory of your industry. This could actually shape your entire business's future. By taking a telescopic look into past successes and failures, entrepreneurs can learn from their experiences and the experiences of those before them. This is where you gain insight and inspiration for solutions that your consumers are looking for. I, for one, take a week in every quarter to do a thorough analysis of past trends. This can be different for you, but do what works for you.

2. Stay on top of industry news always

If anything, never miss crucial news about your industry. It could mean gaining or missing insight into a critical trend or opportunity. To do this effectively, you must monitor various news outlets and sources to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. There are three ways I go about this; reading industry publications, following experts in my industry on social media and attending events in my industry. Look for the best sources that would work for you and your business, but ensure that these sources are reliable.

3. Utilize social media

This is one of my favorites when it comes to trendspotting — I like to see it as the top arrow in my quiver when looking to stay ahead (Top Secret unleashed). Social media remains one of the most powerful tools to identify trends and monitor what customers are talking about in your space. Entrepreneurs need to utilize social media to the fullest to track customer sentiment, identify emerging influencers and keep an eye on top competitors. Tools like Hootsuite and BuzzSumo can help in managing trendspotting on social media.

Related: Making Your Presence Felt In The Current Digital Landscape: Stay Ahead Of The Game With These Five Key Trends

4. Industry events should be on your list

You can stay up-to-date on industry trends by attending events in your industry. It is also a great opportunity to meet and connect with other professionals in your industry. Attend conferences, networking events and trade shows to build relationships and stay informed on the latest developments in the industry.

5. Conduct market research

Another tip for trendspotting to stay ahead in your industry is to conduct proper market research. This is where some people miss it — they don't conduct proper market research. You have to analyze customer behavior thoroughly, monitor industry reports and survey customers when necessary. One tool that has been of immense help to me and many industry experts is Google Analytics, which has made market research more accessible for many years and remains one of my best market research tools.

6. Experiment and take risks

Experimenting once in a while and taking risks are essential for staying ahead of the curve in any industry. It can be beneficial to try out new things, test new ideas and tread new waters. This can be as simple as introducing new features, launching new products or services, using new market strategies or testing new business models.

Related: Business Trends Entrepreneurs Must Know

7. Embrace new technologies and innovations

To stay ahead of the curve, another strategy is to embrace new technologies and be open to innovations that can help you gain the upper hand in your industry. This can be anything from investing in new software or hardware, embracing cloud technology, investing in or incorporating blockchain technology and embracing AI technology.

Trendspotting is an essential skill every business must develop to stay ahead of the curve in their industry. But keep in mind that this is not a one-time activity that must be done and dumped. It must be done continuously. So, here are my takeaways if you really want to put trendspotting into practice:

  • Create a working system to stay organized and help you in tracking your findings.

  • Focus only on the most important trends that are related to your business.

  • Don't be afraid to try new things and take risks.

  • Always evaluate your strategies, and adjust them if needed.

  • Embrace innovation, and remain open to change.

Put your best foot out in terms of trendspotting. This will help you stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and stay ahead of the curve. Happy trendspotting.

Candice Georgiadis

CEO of Digital Agency, Inc

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

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