Interestingly this is often an idea that is overlooked by business owners. It is a very good exercise to spend some time seeing how your industry operates in other countries. Checking out web sites from around the world can give you a wealth of information with only a small amount spent researching.
The more you explore the more you will find. Use the search engines to get the process started but also track down the web addresses of similar companies that you may have come across in trade publications.
Not only will you pick up good ideas on building the business but you are more than likely to find valuable information about industry trends which could have an impact on your business. If you find out about these trends before your competitors do, your business will be well out in front.
To take this point a little further it is very helpful to print information out as you find it. Often when you are in a surfing frenzy it is easy to get sidetracked and before you know you forget about something you came across earlier. Collect the information and start a file. Much of the information you come across could probably be distributed amongst your staff – encourage them to learn from your research.
Spending time to do nothing but see how other people do the same thing as you is time very well spent. Smart entrepreneurs know the value of research and they never begrudge spending time on it. Magnificent businesses are always one step ahead of their competitors.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY? Spend 30 minutes today researching your industry online. Set yourself a challenge of finding out something that you didn’t know before. Start a file and allocate a certain time each week to do nothing but surf the web.