Trend analysis shows us how the world changes over time. I’m sure you have seen the trending news feed on Facebook but do you really understand just how valuable trends are in making sound business decisions? The reality is that most entrepreneurs are not trained to learn the language of trends so they don’t understand what they mean.
For instance, do you know what trends are affecting businesses the most right now? For the record, they are Cloud Computing, Mobile, and Big Data.
Those are very likely to change as the year progresses. Furthermore, they are business-wide trends. Do you know the top trends in your specific industry?
Even knowing the trends by name is not enough. We need to truly understand what these trends mean to our industry to be able to make better decisions. That’s where market trend reports come into play.
Key Components of Market Trend Reports
Let’s start by looking at the basics of what it takes to make trend reporting work on a professional level. The basic elements include:
- Topic of Study
- Reliable Data Sets
- Pattern Recognition from Human Analytical Experts
- Delivery Method
Even though this is a very basic breakdown, it’s important to understand that all market trend reports require these elements. What’s essential is that you understand how the data is collected. You need to be confident enough to trust the information if you’re going to make sound business decisions.
Keeps Track of Influencers
Using trend analysis allows us to see the biggest influencers in our industry. Then we can compare the processes being used and find areas for improvement. As entrepreneurs, we are always pressed for time. We don’t always have the time to read every article released in our industry so we need to turn to reports. Influencers are going to set the bar for an entire industry. They are also the ones who create trends.
Spot Patterns That Repeat Themselves
Cyclical trends are patterns in business that tend to repeat themselves. For example, retail stores know that they are going to get the most customers during the Christmas season. Every industry has trends that repeat under specific circumstances. By identifying these trends, you can time key decisions around them.
This type of trend is quite predictable. Using the retail example again, we know that more people are going to shop around Christmas than any other time of the year. Furthermore, we know that Black Friday is the number one retail shopping day in America. That pattern always repeats itself every year. Cyclical trends are understood and acknowledged by everyone in an industry so you can easily find them through market trend reports.
Discover Unidirectional Trends
These are trends that only go in a single direction. Now these are hard to spot within specific industries and there is a lot of volatility around them, but when approached correctly you will be able to capitalise. One broad example of a unidirectional trend is that the world’s population is going to continue to increase, as long as there is not some unpredictable, volatile disaster.
Anticipating Trends is Paramount to Success
By having access to the right information, you will be able to see exactly how trends will affect your business. You can identify risks and mitigate them. You can also boost your sales by understanding certain seasonal or situational trends.
With knowledge comes the ability to take confident action. Ensure that your business has the appropriate resources to grow during these times. Market trend reports will provide you with scenarios that can be used to make sound business decisions.