Respond rapidly to market changes
I tell people that Susan Bennett is following me on twitter and they ask; “Who is she?”
Susan contributed to creating my personal assistant. Susan is the voice of Siri who serves hundreds of millions of clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Change is the only constant in life. Today all of us have an electronic personal assistant available. No longer is this service limited to senior business executives and professionals who can afford to hire a human personal assistant.
No matter how good your product or service is, there is always an element of risk involved in your business. Long term business success requires a rapid response to changes in the market.
Even as you implement your action plan there is a constant need to analyse market feedback to evaluate if your product or service has become obsolete.
In a continually evolving market it is the most adaptable business that thrives over the long term.
Have An Alternative Action Plan
A major departmental store chain in North America has large stores in major cities across the United States and Canada with show rooms filled with samples of window blinds. Customers can visit the store, speak to a sales person about their ideas and then set up an appointment for someone to visit their home to take measurements and orders.
There is an entrepreneur who advertises samples online and makes visits to customers’ homes to take measurements and orders. This information is then sent to a central manufacturing facility where the blinds are made and shipped out to the entrepreneur who then installs the blinds for the customers. His overheads are much lower than that of the departmental store.
Business has changed and big box stores may soon become a thing of the past. All that a business needs is a team of independent entrepreneurs to market the products that can be delivered from a central manufacturing hub. This modal too may soon be obsolete with 3D printing and robotic manufacturing changing the way business is conducted.
It is therefore vital to have an alternative business plan to respond to changes in the market.
Be Willing To Offer New Products And Services
Technology and the “internet of things” (IoT) is making many products and services obsolete. With the advent of the sharing economy private residences are competing with hotels and car owners are competing with taxi companies.
Business management software is very quickly making many business services unnecessary. Entire businesses that support other businesses may soon become obsolete as their products and services are no longer needed. Instead of using a travel agent we can book a flight, hotel and tour online. Re-invention through rapid knowledge acquisition is a business requirement for those who want to survive change.
Spot Market Changes And Respond Rapidly
Learning new things at business events, seminars and public talks is now an essential business skill. Many senior business leaders make it a point to enrol for summer business school programs and conferences outside of their business area to widen their understanding of how other industries impact their own.
The advent of MP3 technology resulted in computer and cell phone companies entering the music industry in direct competition with record labels. Now, many singers and musicians are cutting out the recording studios by selling music downloads online.
The moment we spot changes in the market we have to respond rapidly to seize the opportunity that emerges. Rapid change is the new constant in business.
Be Able To Assemble A New Team If Necessary
It is easy to get too comfortable with our business team. Past success is no guarantee of future success in business. There is always a danger of “group think” resulting in team members re-enforcing the teams belief that the tried and tested way is the way to respond to falling sales numbers.
Be willing to assemble a team of new talents to respond rapidly to change. We now have fresh food stores teaming up with health and wellness practitioners in the local communities they serve. The health and wellness practitioners are able to suggest to the fresh food stores the types of food items they should be stocking based on the demographics and lifestyle trends of the local population. Being able to respond to the changing lifestyle demands of the local community is essential for business continuity.
International Business Consultant
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