That’s right! If you keep doing what you do today tomorrow then tomorrow you will get just what you got today. How does that make you feel?
If like most of us you aspire to greater things then you’ll probably be thinking that’s not how you see our tomorrow.
So, what do you do about it?
Thinking about your business, if you keep doing what you do, selling what you sell, the same old way then it won’t be long before someone else thinks up a replacement for your product, a better way to promote and sell what you sell, or simply a way to remove the need for you and your product.
Your customers are now their customers, you will be playing catchup with the competitor. It’ll be a scramble, playing catch up isn’t much fun.
That’s the Desperation and Reactionary Model for Business. You won’t find many business gurus extolling the virtues of it, as there aren’t many.
Instead you should have a proactive, planned strategy for success, and that includes succession planning for you, your processes and your products. None of them will last forever. Well executed this strategy will keep all of those who would be your competitors in catch up.
You should always strive to lead, and let others play catch up with you!
So how can you be the first to offer a terrific new spin on the same old business? After all you have that business already, where’s it going?
The key word here is Differentiation and this can be fundamental or cosmetic. We’ve all seen the cosmetic differentiation, where a sticker is placed on a product New Recipe. I once saw packaged chicken sandwiches that had the sticker Now with Chicken on them, clearly differentiating them from last week’s chicken sandwiches which had … (let us not dwell on that).
Sometimes in business, perception is everything.
Other times we need to be constantly reinventing our products. Think of the car manufacturers, each year a new model, with new features. Why do they do that? Because it sells more cars! Everyone likes to have, and be seen, in the latest model.
Look what is happening to the television. Think back to the first television you can remember your family having, and now look at the one in your lounge, it has changed a lot hasn’t it? Well now consider the time you kept each of those TVs. I bet that as the years have gone by you’ve bought new TVs more frequently.
Sometimes this sort of change isn’t appreciated by your customers. Take Coke for example, in 1985 they thought that they would change the look of the product, by changing the shape of the bottle. They also changed the recipe and called it New Coke. The public backlash was so strong the management had to revert to the old bottles, and old recipe, and even needed a new name, connected to their heritage, and so Coke Classic was born. All of that was in just 3 short months.
Differentiation is a must, but it comes with some risk. As with Coke you must push forward, be ready to accept the knock backs, and bounce back in the direction that the market tells you.
So a few more examples of how others made a change to shake up the market:
- Colonel Saunders eventually got funding for his franchise business idea for Chicken in the Basket.
- Dominos Pizza started a home delivery service, the first in the world
- Stelios started a budget airline, EasyJet, with prices and service more like coach travel
I am sure that you can add more, please do comment below.
The key message is that you need to be ready for change. It is coming, and you’ll be better prepared if you plan for it, and lead it. Let the other guy play catchup!