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industry_execFor everyone from high-level executives at Fortune 500 companies to small business owners with only a handful of employees, keeping abreast of industry developments and trends is one of the keys to success in your career. With technology advancing and changing the way that business operates on an ever-more-frequent basis, constant improvement is necessary for your company to thrive. But how can you keep on top of an always changing industry? Here are our tips.

1. Your days are probably already packed to the brim with important meetings and tasks, but it’s worth your time to set aside an hour at the beginning of your day to check out industry news. By clearing out this dedicated time, you’ll make sure you never get behind on what’s happening in your field.

2. Attend top executive development programs to get specialized knowledge on a key business area. More cost effective than an entire degree program, these classes and seminars can keep business leadership skills sharp and up-to-date. Not only will you receive top-of-the-line advice on high-level strategy for your company, it’s also an excellent chance to network with other powerful business executives and share your knowledge and experiences. 

3. Set up an RSS feed dedicated solely to industry news. Using this technology, you can aggregate relevant news from many different sources into one place so you don’t have to go searching for it. You can even set up alert systems to let you know when a piece on a particularly relevant topic goes live.

4. Get social by setting up twitter and linkedin accounts for you personally or your business to get relevant news. Following trade organizations, industry publications, and movers and shakers in the industry will help you to hear about trends and updates as they happen. You can even start a dialogue with influential accounts and become a leading voice in the industry yourself.

5. Observe your competition closely by monitoring their online presence both on their website and social media outlets. Take note of changes in marketing, product offerings, or any other significant adjustment they make.

6. Leverage statistics and reports to keep a constant vision of the marketplace. Check out demographic trends in your area or any other relevant markers so that you have a realistic idea of your customer base. Find useful government statistical reports and keep up to date with the latest numbers.

7. Get the big picture by reading not only about your own domestic industry, but other related markets. Keep up on trends in your field globally to see what innovations are occurring in other countries and check out other industries whose changes may affect your own market eventually.

8. Get involved in industry organizations to gain access to even more relevant information about industry trends and network with leaders in your field.

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