Identifying the industry and market trends today that will affect your business tomorrow is the key to securing your future success. Thankfully, it doesn’t require a crystal ball. Instead, put these five important news sources on your must-read list.
These days the economy changes direction on a dime, and what happens in the global markets impacts business conditions at home. That’s why business owners must keep a close eye on developing industry trends, currency fluctuations, government budget reports and interest rate announcements when it comes to planning the future direction of your business
However, it’s important to refer to multiple sources of information before making important business decisions and stick to trusted publications, reports and other resources to avoid potentially damaging misinformation.
Here are five key information sources that should be on your radar.
1. Trade publications
Trade publications are useful for keeping track of industry news, developing trends and insights from the major players in your sector. The Australian Institute of Building (AIB) publishes a trusted quarterly magazine that will keep you informed about the latest construction industry developments and changes to regulations. Likewise, Australian Earthmoving Magazine is packed with news, advice and upcoming tenders, and FullyLoaded.com.au brings you the latest transport and logistics industry news.
2. Market updates
Stay up-to-date with the latest market movements with CommSec. Track live share market news and reports, and keep an eye on the trends that affect your industry. For example, petrol price reports will give transport industry insiders key insights into what’s on the horizon for your fuel costs, and weekly consumer confidence ratings will keep you in touch with how the economy is performing.
3. Foreign exchange rates
If you’re involved with foreign imports or exports in the logistics industry or purchase materials from overseas suppliers, you’ll need to stay on top of what’s happening in the currency exchange markets. Exchangeratenews.com.au is a helpful resource for tracking exchange rate forecasts so you can plan your foreign purchases to coincide with the best possible exchange rate conditions. The Sydney Morning Herald also updates current exchange rates every 30 minutes, so you can identify which currencies are trending up and down at a glance.
4. Interest rate announcements
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) issues interest rate reports after each of its monthly board meetings (usually held during the first week of each month). While interest rate rises tend to be widely reported in the mass media, reading the monthly reports will give you access to key insights into how the RBA believes the economy is performing and what might be just around the corner. The construction industry is particularly sensitive to interest rate rises that tend to put a dent in borrowing. Identifying any potential interest rate hikes early will let you get a step ahead and plan for any downturns before they hit.
5. Federal budget reviews
There is usually a media storm when the federal government hands down its annual budget, but cutting through the noise to get a clear picture of how it will affect your industry can be challenging. TheOpenBudget project is a handy online resource that will tell you exactly how much the government plans to spend on programs relevant to your industry sector. This can be helpful for identifying growth opportunities you may want to consider when determining the future direction of your company.
Keeping track of industry news and trends provides a strong foundation for strategically planning your company’s future. After all, you don’t want to leave your success to chance.
Shane Conroy is a freelance journalist who contributes feature stories and business profiles to construction industry trade magazines, and has developed content for leading construction, earthmoving and transport equipment suppliers.