Running a business involves a lot more work than just selling a product or service. You have to exert control over every area of your company, from marketing to hiring. As a business owner, you’ll be the driving force behind your company’s success, and the whole operation may rest on your shoulders.

Luckily, you have one important tool that can drastically help your decision making. We live in the internet age, where nearly every aspect of the world is reported on in meticulous detail. Financial news can be your friend to not only spy on your rivals, but to gain a sense of the current economic climate. Here’s your quick guide to understanding its uses.

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1. Look for gaps in the market

You notice that the stock price of a particular company is falling, or that a company had a poor fiscal year. This may have been in conjunction with the launch of a product, or better yet, a product may have been missing.

Surf online forums and social channels, and see what the consumer is asking for. Rival companies may have missed an opportunity for a lucrative product launch, so make sure you don’t. That being said…

2. Don’t take the news at face value

For example, the latest Apple stock news might indicate that the company is faltering. But don’t forget that product launch they have next month. It could bring them right back up to the top of their game, fast.

Similarly, the same goes for the opposite. If the news shows that a company is riding high, but a competitor is launching a product soon, that dominance may end. This could be your chance to commission a product or big marketing campaign. Weigh these options up, and choose the perfect time to strike.

3. Get the scoop on any new competition

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Businesses are ever evolving, and the financial market is ever shifting. Because of the possible lucrative nature of the industry, new players will frequently join the game and enter the fray. You should immediately be checking stock news and financial news for these companies. If they are a success from the get-go, look at how they achieved that!

If you’ve been in business a while, there is a chance your company has grown stale. A new entrepreneur might be a more exciting prospect than yours, so keep an eye on this. You may have the advantage of being a larger company than most, which means you can utilise fresh tactics on a wider scale.

4. See what the media thinks of you

Love it or hate it, but the news media is bigger than ever. Thankfully, it’s a free source of information that can help companies of all sizes listen to the masses. Sites like Yahoo compile news from a ton of different sources, so have a read!

It can sometimes be inaccurate however, and this is where you come in. Get the scoop on what all these financial sites and newspapers think about your situation, and prove them wrong. They may even point out something you’re doing poorly, and you can learn from it. Your business should be ever-changing, adopting new strategies that can help increase revenue significantly.

5. Look for marketing opportunities

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Following on from this, these websites thrive on advertising revenue. If you find a site that looks upon you favorably, get in touch with them. Ask to place an advert on their site. You’ll lose a chunk of your marketing budget, but the long term effects will be profitable for you.

Businesses have to stay relevant, and this is one way to do so. Identify your audience by using the media, and advertise to them. You’ll get more loyal customers and some great exposure in return.

Do you have any advice for businesses to utilize the media? Let us know in the comments!

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