I always loved riding roller coasters as a child. Who am I kidding … I still love riding roller coasters! However, I don’t love the roller coaster that is the industry I am in but over the years I have learned to adjust. In today’s world, almost every industry is always evolving and changing. People change, businesses change, trends change and so your business plan must also change.
Perhaps years ago a business plan was meant to set it and forget it but today, especially depending on your industry, you may have to change your business plan quite frequently throughout the year. It is very important to stay abreast of the trends and changes in your industry. Sales will plateau if you aren’t staying in touch with your clients and prospects on what is changing in their lives and what they need help with today.
So how do you adjust and stay connected to all of these changes? Here are some great tips that will help you continue to grow your business in an ever changing industry.
- Subscribe to an industry relevant publication. Magazines, newsletters and newspapers can be great resources for knowing what’s going on in your industry. They often give you information that will help you stay ahead of the game instead of learning about changes after it’s too late.
- Communicate with your clients and customers. I have noticed a huge increase in customer surveys. If I order something from Amazon they send me a survey on my customer feedback. If I call Verizon about my wireless plan they send me a customer service on my experience with them. If I stay at a hotel, I get a customer survey and if I call my bank with a question about a service they provide I get a customer survey. I will admit all of the surveys get a bit annoying so I’m not saying you have to do a survey – but just figure out your customer’s needs are and what you can do to help them. What else can you do to make their life easier? What else can you do to improve your product or service? A business should always be growing and you should always be growing with it.
- Attend a conference. There are conferences for everything now and they are a great way to get a lot of information in a short time and a great way to network with others in your industry. A sales persons motto may be ‘Always be closing’ yet another great motto should be ‘Always be learning’. Knowledge is one of the main things that sets a great sales person apart from a not so great salesperson.
- Join a network or organization. There are several networks or organizations out there that you can join that will send you industry relevant material on a regular basis. They do all the heavy lifting of staying on top of the industry and doing all the research. There are many valuable organizations out there and if you talk to your colleagues I’m sure they can give you recommendations on some great ones.
- Take a vacation! I know this may sound crazy but taking a vacation can actually help you grow your business. Sometimes your brain needs a break from work and just needs to relax and rejuvenate. I know so many successful people that have come up with their best ideas while on vacation or while just relaxing. You can work yourself into the ground – but the point is to work hard and play hard. You need that balance to keep going and the most successful people that also enjoy life figured that out a long time ago.
Danae Branson is the founder of Elite Scheduling Services. They specialize in appointment setting services for external wholesalers in the financial industry.