“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” – Jim Rohn
If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you will fall behind and fade into oblivion. Even if you are successful today.
In 2009, Blackberry Smartphone had a 21% worldwide phone market share but by 2013 this had fallen to 1%. One of the critical reasons for this failure was that Blackberry saw its device as an email-enabled mobile phone rather than the powerful mobile computer as envisioned by Apple.
It is easy to underestimate the potential of an idea, misjudge your abilities, misunderstand your customer, and ignore your competitors. These mistakes can cost businesses dearly and make them irrelevant.
Here are some ways to stay relevant in a constantly changing business environment.
Know your customer
Getting information about your target demographic is very important. You should know what your potential clients are doing, what are their interests, what are they yearning for, etc. Without this, the strategies you will create will be completely irrelevant. You can gather this information from secondary and primary market research.
Know your competition
It’s important to understand what your competition is currently doing and what they are planning to do. Understand their value proposition, business and revenue model, details of their services and products, geographical presence, technology & platforms. Download their financials from ROC and analyze their numbers. You can get a lot of information from reading and watching interviews with top management.
Be Aware of Your Trends
Keeping an ear to the ground for the latest trends in the market is a lot easier today than it was earlier. The vast amounts of historical data collected about your target demographic through constant engagement can reveal the potential shifts that can occur in the market. The trends may not always directly be linked to your business and products but maybe something consumers feel strongly about, such as environmental causes, in such cases it is prudent to ensure that your company’s values are in line with greater customer expectations.
Embrace Innovation & Critical Thinking
In an ever-changing volatile business environment rife with technological advancements and changing business models, it is critical for business owners to not only think outside the box but also be fluid with their current models and strategies. The agility with which you adapt to the changing times will determine your success. Another key element in fostering innovation and critical thinking is hiring diverse talent. Remember no good ideas came from a group of people all agreeing to the same thing, you need to create an environment where diverse opinions and ideas are heard and there is room for them to thrive.
Know your business
While it is exciting to pursue new ideas, it’s just as important to know what your company doesn’t do well and at the same time embrace the strengths. If teams don’t have the skills and expertise then look to collaborate. Business owners often get ambitious and try to capitalize on every opportunity out there and end up deviating so far from their core competence that it results in inferior products/services. Understanding the raison d’être of your business will help you strategize, organize and spend your energy efficiently leading to satisfied customers.