Advances in tech seem to happen so quickly you can miss them in the blink of an eye. When you run a small business, it’s essential to remain on top of the biggest trends, otherwise, you risk drowning in the tidal wave of competition. Staying ahead of the pack can mean the difference between a flourishing small business and a failing one, so do your best to make contacts, read up on the latest products and apply your new-found tech knowledge to your business model.
So, what are the simplest ways to inform yourself of the latest tech trends?
1. Attend industry events
Probably the best way to stay in the know when it comes to trends in technology is to speak to industry experts; the people who live and breathe tech. With lots of exciting tech events scheduled in Australia this year, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet professionals in these niches and maybe even pick their brains. These kinds of events offer first-hand experience of new products and the latest smart technology in all spheres; from sports to music, to communication and machine learning.
Take full advantage of attending these events by snapping up brand new products, try new apps in development before they hit the markets and grab all the freebies you can carry. This way your small business could end up setting the trends rather than following the crowd.
2. Make the most of social media
You can also keep your growing business abreast of tech trends through the magic of social media. By seeing these platforms as positive sources of new information, you’ll learn a great deal and make vital contacts for your business. Follow leading tech brands, start-ups and established companies to spot emerging trends in communication and take note of the must-have products your peers are using and buying.
It is also good to keep an eye on what your peers post. If they ask for information or help and you have the expertise, this could help to create a new relationship and in the long-term, provide opportunities for your business.
3. Read about technology
For a high-definition snapshot of the big tech picture, immerse yourself in tech news. Read the technology supplements, buy magazines that centre around the latest innovations and if there’s a big new tech-themed story hitting your screens, sit up and take note. Buying books by up-and-coming tech wizards or listening to technology podcasts can both help you to hone a more rounded understanding of the tech industry and will mean you can jump on the coolest new trends as soon as you hear about them, keeping your small business with its finger smack dab on the pulse.
4. Look at what the big companies are doing
Looking at what the big companies are investing in for the future shows an idea of the type of technologies you should be looking at now. Of course, we’re not saying you should go and invest in creating a driverless car anytime soon. But, if the bigger companies are looking at technologies that keep user input to a minimum, this could be something that your small business could start looking at investing in for the future.
5. Listen to your audience
If your small business does not have a varied age of employees, it can be difficult to learn what the trends are for your audience outside of this bubble. Listen to your intended consumer, and to people who are outside of this circle, to find out what pieces of tech they have recently discovered. These new gadgets or platforms might be applicable to your own small biz, and this might be the step that takes you ahead of your competitors.