Keeping up with the latest happenings in your industry used to be a simple enough task.
You would subscribe to a relevant trade magazine and maybe attend a couple of conferences each year to catch-up on developments. Easy.
But that was in the land before digital. Since then, the pace of business life has rocketed and so has the sheer volume of information that’s now available to businesses. And staying on top of this is something you can’t afford to ignore.
You need to know about new technologies and innovations, about any changes to industry legislation and to know what your competitors are doing. Not having a proper grasp on this stuff can put an organisation in a vulnerable position.
So here are some strategies for your mobile workforce to stay informed without being overwhelmed by it all:
It’s a pretty old technology but news feeds remain one of the simplest and best ways to get quick access to the information you need. By using a news aggregator such as Feedly, you can create a hub containing all the latest articles and reports for the websites relevant to your business.
You can update your feed over time to add new sources of information or to get rid of those ones you don’t think are delivering much value. As soon as any new information is added to any of your chosen websites, it’s pulled into your news feed.
Google Alerts is a really powerful tool for managing information. You provide a search keyword or a phrase and Google will automatically alert you whenever it finds a story or article that’s relevant.
You can set it to so that you’re alerted each time something is found or to having information in daily or weekly bundles. It’s really worth trying out different search words to find which produces the most relevant results for your business.
A significant problem faced many managers face is finding the time to read during hectic and irregular work schedules. It’s something that the Pocket service can help to solve - allowing you to instantly save and store copies of any articles you spot.
These saved copies are available offline, so it’s ideal if you want to catch up on your reading while on a train journey or anywhere without a Wi-Fi connection.
One way to try and avoid the blizzard of information that social media can expose us to, is to create specific ‘read only’ accounts for work purposes. These aren’t meant to be used for sharing or interacting - they’re purely to access relevant information, articles and opinions.
By simplifying and streamlining accounts in this way, you can easily access the useful stuff without being forced to wade through lots of irrelevant ‘noise’.
Finding a LinkedIn Group that’s relevant to your business can be an effective way to keep tabs on what’s happening in your industry. It’s a place to find links to relevant articles, discussions and expert opinions.
To get the best out of an industry group, you should become an active part of it, contributing and sharing your own information.
So with the right use of technology and a bit of setting up, there are effective ways to keep on top of what’s happening in the growing industries that are relevant to your business.
It’s information which can protect your company from any unseen bumps on the road ahead and help adapt and change your company to suit the surrounding businesses environment.