In business today, it’s vital that we as entrepreneurs keep up with what’s happening in the world around us. It can mean the difference between staying relevant and becoming obsolete!
This is one of those things that many business owners feel like they don’t have time for, but I encourage you to view it as an investment in yourself and your business, and make the time.
So, here are my 6 top reasons you should be staying current:
1. It’s important to become (or remain) an expert in your field.
If you are the face of your brand, or even if you sometimes represent your brand, you must be viewed as an expert. People want to know that the person behind their product or service knows what they’re talking about. They want to feel like you could answer any question you might have about your industry (even if they never ask).
“Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience.”
Denis Waitley, Author and Motivational Speaker
There is power in your authenticity! When you speak authentically and with authority, your market will listen. And the great thing about staying current now is that it has never been easier!
2. It’s so easy to do your research.
Just 15 or 20 years ago, being informed meant subscribing to several newspapers, many magazines, and frequent trips to the library and bookstore. Almost all of this information is now available to us 24/7 in the palms of our hands!
Of course, you already know that, but my question to you is: What are you doing with it? Do you use this amazing technology to learn more, gain new perspectives and get an edge on your competition? Do you spend more time on your phone playing Candy Crush or browsing your friends’ social media profiles than you do getting new information and being productive?
Use your time wisely and invest in yourself. You truly are your business’s most valuable resource. Take some of that play time on your phone and turn it into work time. It’s a great way to stay on top of your game.
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
Albert Szentt-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize-winning physiologist
3. You’ll be able to custom craft your marketing message.
Marketing is much more than making ads for various media. It’s conveying who you are and what your brand is about to the world. Marketing is how you design and name your products, how you present your services, even how you speak in public and online.
When you stay informed, you can craft your marketing message to speak with authority to your potential customers. Chances are, something is happening in the world every day that relates to your industry. What are you saying about it? For many businesses, the answer is not much, or nothing at all.
Let your voice be heard! Give your unique insight on what’s happening in the world and in your industry through social media or your blog. If you do this consistently, people will begin to look to you as not just another brand, but a valuable source of information.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.”
David Packard, Co-Founder of Hewlett Packard
4. You can tailor your products or services to your niche.
If your sales have plateaued or are declining, maybe it’s time to take another look at your offerings. Has the market shifted away from your products? Are there new features or benefits that your competitors offer?
Often, you don’t have to scrap the whole thing, just make a few tweaks. Release your new and improved product or service with great fanfare and let all your customers know about it!
“Since I always had my own little shop and direct access to the public, I’ve been able to build up a technique without marketing people ever telling me what the public wants.”
Vivienne Westwood, Designer and Fashion Entrepreneur
5. You can make adjustments on the fly.
One of the most powerful things you can get as a business owner is feedback. Listen to your customers! If you’ve established your brand on social media, they’re talking to you. Posts on your Facebook wall, comments on your Instagram posts and Pinterest pins, discussion on your blog posts, mentions on Twitter – it’s all important!
Check your social media platforms regularly and respond to your customers’ inquiries, praise and complaints. Let them know you hear them. This alone will set you apart from many of your competitors.
Take it a step further and look for trends in your feedback. What are your customers asking for? What are they complaining about? Can you take that information and make changes to address their concerns? It might be streamlining your website to make buying from you easier. It might be changing your store hours so you’re open when your customers want to come in. It might be adding a product that complements something you currently offer. Whatever it is, take in your customers’ feedback and use it, it’s an extremely valuable asset!
“It’s so important to experience what your customers are experiencing and listen to their suggestions.”
David Nelleman, Founder of JetBlue
6. When culture shifts, business has to shift with it.
With the pace of changing technology, what’s current is constantly evolving. Just ask Kodak about camera film: In 1976, they had a 90% market share of film. Two decades later digital photography became popular, and in 2012 Kodak, an American icon, had to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
It’s cliché, but you can’t rest on your laurels. Today’s business climate demands innovation and growth of almost any business.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Epictetus, 1st Century Greek Philosopher
Take time this week to stay current. We’ve all heard that “knowledge is power,” but I would add one important thing: applied knowledge is power. Take what you learn and do something with it! Make a change to your marketing, create a new product, or write a blog post. It’ll take some time, but you and your business are worth it!
Tweetable Inspiration From Stacia
“There is power in your authenticity!” – Stacia Pierce | Click to Tweet
“Invest in yourself! You are the most valuable asset to your business!” – Stacia Pierce | Click to Tweet
6 Reasons Every Entrepreneur Needs to Stay Current by Stacia Pierce | Click to Tweet