The game of business continually changes. And it’s happening faster than ever.
Yesterday the game was simply about making something that someone, somewhere, was prepared to pay in order to have.
If we’re honest, even if your product or service wasn’t great – wasn’t the best – it didn’t really matter. There was enough of the cake to go around so that everyone got a taste of it. Creating and selling something that was meh, that was good enough, was enough. While it meant your business wouldn’t be front-page-news successful, it was probably enough for you and your employees to tick along.
Today, the business game is about changing the game. The rules, as they say, are there to be broken. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean that you can’t come along and change it.
The problem with complacency in business, is your competition don’t necessarily think in the same terms as you do. The longer the business environment stays the same, the more likely that players within that space look outwardly the same to customers.
And that’s a bad thing. Something that, eventually, a business owner decides is enough – and changes the game for everyone. That person could be you, or it could be your competitor. But if you’re in an industry that hasn’t seen huge changes, then you can bet the day the game changes is not so far away.
Change The Game – Or Have It Changed For You
But changing the game is scary. Maintaining the status quo is easier, because you know how the rules work.
That’s true. But for a business to grow in any market it needs to get ahead of the competition. Assuming you don’t want to play the commodity game and race to the bottom, this invariably means changing the rules of the game. Challenging the preconceptions of marketing, presales, sales, support, whatever.
Changing the game on your terms puts your competitors on their back foot. They’re off-balance, and playing defense. By instigating change on your terms, you’re in command. You get to determine how the rules change, control business outcomes, and gain competitive advantage.
Take a look at your own industry. Supposing the established business model for your industry was turned on its head. What would happen if your competitor came along and changed the rules?
What if, for example, the thing that your customers pay for today was available for free, and the revenue for your product/service was made in another way? Think about how Uber up-ended the taxi industry, Netflix and Spotify changed how we consume movies and music, or how Airbnb changed the way we think of accommodation.
Most companies are unwilling to even look at how they could change the game, since they’re spending all their time trying to get better at the way the game is played today.