As I write this article, I am keeping an eye on an item on eBay. Do I have to keep an eye on it? No. I have set up a program that swoops in in the final seconds of the bidding, leaving the previous bidder, who thought they had the item, wondering what happened.
Is that what is happening to you in business? Do you think you have customers sewn up; success just with your grasp, but something always goes wrong?
There is talk in the news about the Retail Industry slowdown in home d?cor, furniture and home improvement sales. Pier 1 mentioned they are streamlining and cutting their merchandise offerings by 25% to focus on their core customer. Many retailers who were interviewed mentioned that they have been watching the slowdown trend for a while and already have plans in place to manage what's happening.
Is that how you run your business? Do you look at seasonal, regional and/or global trends that will affect the future of your business or do you wait until the bottom falls out and then wonder what you are going to do. Wouldn't you rather have a heads up on what's happening, before it happens?
Sometimes even experience researchers find it difficult to be guided by research. Instead they look for facts and theories to support the hypothesis that is already formed.
If you think that research takes too long, sign up for a number of newsletters and let the information come to you. If you worry about being spammed, use a hotmail account. Keep an open mind. Rather than coming to conclusions before you have the information, make a list of specific facts and assign weights that will influence your decisions. Create a chart and fill in the answers from each information source, tally the weighted results and then make your decisions based on fact?tempered by entrepreneurial intuition. Set up a system that works for you and commit to use it.
If you are in Retail then these two web sites have newsletters that report on trends from all over the world.
No matter what your business, somewhere on the net there are newsletters/RSS feeds that can deliver information to give you the edge you need, so you aren't sideswiped?knocked out of the game in the final seconds.
And my purchase on eBay?.I missed the first one because someone else paid more than I thought it was worth; but the second one?the competition is still wondering what happened and my purchase is on it's way. I used my proven system and won.
Do you want things to be your way in your world or do you want to know what's really going on in your industry so you can anticipate challenges and make plans to avoid problems?
A theory must be tempered by reality.
Copyright© 2006Nancy Fraser Nota Bene Consulting, All Rights reserved
Nancy Fraser is the President of Nota Bene Consulting. She has been helping clients improve their advertising results and grow their businesses for over 20 years. Free advertising and marketing information in the Notable News http://www.notable-marketing.com