More social media posts, more ambassadors, and more advertising aren’t going to help grow your business if you’re disconnected from what the consumer wants. Not only today but in the future too. Evolution is constant so you don’t want to be caught unprepared. You have to be able to spot the trends and behaviours that could impact your business. Here are the key questions you should ask yourself periodically.

1. Product selection:

Do I have the right products? Does today’s consumer want what I offer?

What you want to sell might not be what your target audience wants to buy. If your sales are declining or you’re failing to penetrate a market, it could be as simple as the product being wrong. It might be out of fashion or the wrong size. No marketing can fix that.

What’s in my pipeline?

Classic products have a longer life cycle than trendy ones. But there comes a time when a product reaches maturity and there’s not much you can do to extract growth. At that stage, you want to maximize the profitability of a mature product but not overly invest. Like riders with horses, you need to have the next star with growth potential lined up before the decline starts to happen on the mature product. This could be a line extension, a new brand, or the acquisition of another company altogether. Think of where you are going to find growth and plan ahead.

2. Distribution strategy:

Is my product offered in the right ‘location’?

If your target market is shopping less at horse shows and more online, you need to adapt and implement a strategy that matches their behaviour. Watch how people shop inside and outside of your industry. Look at market leaders and fast growing up-and-comers. Don’t assume because you’ve had success doing things a certain way that it will continue in the future.

What’s the new normal?

If you can buy products in one or two clicks on Amazon, that becomes the new normal. If your website is not mobile friendly and six clicks are needed to put a product in the shopping cart, you’re going to look like a dinosaur.