Every business thrives on information. Without the best information available, your business won’t be able to make the best decisions. You need information on all sorts of things, from the smallest part of your company up to the big decisions going on in the world around you. To help your business thrive, here are the types of information you should be looking to accumulate as often as you can.
Audience and Customer Base
One of the first things you’ll want to learn more about is your customer base. Who exactly does your product or service appeal to and why? Is your audience 20-year-old men, or 75-year-old women? You need to find out things like what your audience is interested in, the amount of disposable income they have and where they like to spend time online. By gathering this information, you can make better decisions about your products and how you market them to that audience. This guide can help you get started with audience analysis if you need it.
Next, you’ll want to get more information about the market you are in. What are some of the similar products in your niche? How much are they selling for? Are sales generally trending upwards or downwards? You need to know the environment around your product so that you can position it well within the market. For example, if your product offers similar features as the others, but costs twice as much, you’ll likely have a hard time making sales. The market around your products can change quickly, making it essential that you check in on it regularly.
It’s important that you not only know what products are in your market, but who is making them. To stay ahead of your competition, you need to keep an eye on them. You should know things like what their latest products are, how they are priced, who they are marketing them to, and how they are marketing them. By conducting regular competitor analysis, you can not only ensure that your competitors don’t surpass you but identify weaknesses in their own strategy and exploit them. For more information on how to conduct competitor analysis, you can check out this guide.
If we zoom out a little further, the next thing you’ll want information on is the entire economy around you. You need to not only know what’s going on in your market, and what your competitors are doing but what the entire economy is doing. By conducting some macroeconomic research, you’ll be able to make better decisions about things like investing or hiring new employees. Without this information, you could make a big decision at the wrong time, leading to significant problems for your business in the future.
Besides analyzing the world around you, you also need to analyze your own operation. You should have systems in place that allow you to measure your team’s efficiency. Doing so will allow you to identify those employees that are holding you back and which ones are providing the best results. You’ll also be able to tell if you need to make changes in one department or another to improve productivity. As a business owner, it’s essential that you are always on the lookout for new ways to improve your team, but you can’t do this if you don’t have any information on their current performance.
Local Regulation Changes
Finally, every business is governed by some local regulations. Maybe it’s the amount of sales tax you need to charge, the hours you’re allowed to be open, or how much you need to pay your employees. Local regulations change all the time, but you can often see the changes coming in advance if you pay attention. So, rather than waiting for a new tax law to take effect, you can start planning for it months prior. Gather as much information as you can about what’s going on in your county/state, so that you don’t get caught unawares.
Information is Power
The more information you have at your disposal, the better. Most businesses are not harmed because they have too much information, but rather too little. The key is to know what information is vital to your business’s survival and prosperity. If you can identify this and make it a regular habit to accumulate this information, your business will be well-positioned to take advantage of it. The above items are a good place to start, but every business is different. So, think about what information would help your business the most, then go get it.