Business isn’t set in stone. Today’s game is all about changing the game.
Find out the rules of engagement – and change them. Entrepreneurs today are looking at new value offerings and business models that will separate them from their competitors, upset the established model…and destabilize the norm.
The most dangerous place in business today is to be in the middle. No-one remembers the middle-ground. The excitement – and interest – happens at the periphery.
If your business strategy is predicated on being ‘just about good enough’ to be remembered when customers need to buy whatever you’re selling, your business is doomed.
Identify The Status Quo – Then Break It.
So, how do you do that in your area of business?
Look at the playing field today. In your particular industry, what’s the standard business model? On what assumptions is it based upon? Now look at it from your customer’s eyes. Is it still the best way to play the game? Precisely what is the customer paying for – and what does the customer think that they are paying for?
How can you apply the lessons from other industries to yours? What if a company like ZipCar came along, up-ended your business model and offered your product or service for rent by the hour? What if Google moved into your business area, and things that your customers used to pay for are now available for free?
Don’t think it can happen to you? That’s what 100,000 small business owners say to themselves every day – just before their business goes bankrupt.
Imagine you had a crystal ball and could predict the future of your business. The crystal ball showed you that your business model – pricing, distribution, sales structure, whatever – was going to be disrupted by someone with as much industry experience as you. The only difference between you and her was that she wasn’t clinging-on to the way “things have always been.”
Wouldn’t you make bold and dramatic changes to the business, to keep it out of harms way?
Play The Game YOUR Way – Not Theirs
The only thing we know for certain is the environment you’re currently depending on for business is going to change.
You can either adapt your business to the customer expectation model created by the competition. Alternatively you can create that brave new way of doing business yourself. Even if that means cannibalizing some of the existing revenue streams you’re currently relying upon.
Yes, you heard that correctly.
There are hundreds of ways of changing the game. Depending on your industry it might involve investments in technology, training, new staff, or even all of the above.
Then again, it may be as simple as charging by the hour.
Most established companies can’t – or won’t – look to change things as readily, because they see it as upsetting the status quo and destabilizing their own business model (even if it’s not working that well any more). Really big businesses may have their hands tied through a fiduciary responsibility to board members, or shareholders.
However it’s just a matter of time before their model gets upended. It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN. When the feaces hits the fan, those companies are caught on the back foot. They’re playing catch-up. Even then, they can’t move as nimbly as you.
Which is the perfect reason as to why you should do it. Today.