Evolve or Die – The Core Business Tips You Need to Read
It is my firm belief that, if your business is not growing, in this lovely, buoyant, growing market, then it’s all your fault.
I’ve had several very interesting conversations this week with a range of both clients and contacts. They are all in the same place – their business is not growing, and they are starting to stay awake at night trying to sort out the problem.
I always start business planning from an abundance perspective. First – I believe there is enough work for everyone, and competition is good because it helps further define your purpose and find your gap in the market
Out of the businesses I’ve interacted with this week, not all of them are going to make it.
And this is why
1. They are “sticking to their knitting” without seeing that the fashion has changed and everyone is wearing a different style of jumper. In other words, they are sticking to what used to be effective, in terms of their offering, without watching and adapting to a changed market
2. They aren’t sticking to a consistent plan. This sounds counter intuitive to the first point, but this is in terms of growth. When they do decide to apply a plan of selling or marketing they don’t stick to it, and allow it to develop, letting it work through and then reassessing. They want it to work right away, and if it doesn’t, they start all over again. This causes the market and the team to be confused
3. They refuse to move out of their comfort zone – they don’t want to use new ways of marketing, and they don’t want to move into anything that makes them feel they are losing control over the message.
4. They are listening to the wrong people. Here’s a tip – before you allow a person to change the entire course of your business, ask them some hard questions, watch how your team or clients react to them, and ask for people to talk to about what they are like. Us consultants and strategists should be able to tell you people you are free to go and have a conversation with
5. They are way too close to the situation. If it’s your baby,and you’ve fought for it, love it and are scared of losing it, you aren’t going to act in a relaxed and methodical way that’s best for that business baby. You got to drop the pride, drop the false rhetoric that’s pretending everything is fine and GET HELP
6. They say it’s their customers fault. THIS IS THE WORST ONE OF ALL! They are angry their customer doesn’t want them, doesn’t understand them and doesn’t value them. When really, they are just providing them with something they don’t want or need.
Businesses need to EVOLVE to work in an ever changing market.
We need to adapt, and we need to listen to what people NEED, and see beyond it to what they may DESIRE in the future.
If your business is running on empty it needs to change.
Here are three things you can do today to improve your business
1. Take a hard look at your business, and check – are we marketing and selling our most profitable area or are we stuck on things we never really planned to do? Change the focus. Change the demand. and be prepared to dump the unprofitable parts of your business
2. If you’ve got staff, take a serious moment to sit down and ask them what THEY think. They are in the job – and they can see things you often can’t as you’ve got “business stress blinkers” on.
3. Take a look at your market. What are they ASKING for. I changed my business from a telling to a doing focus after six clients in one week said “awesome, now you’ve helped me work out a plan, how on earth am I going to DO it? I listened, adapted, and provided, and my business is growing faster than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for.
I care about NZ businesses – the cool ones, the fashionable ones, the yummy ones, and the really necessary but not so exciting ones. (I know you engineers and accountants don’t want to be described that way but you know…. 🙂 )
Don’t be an extinct dinosaur in a few months, or a few years. EVOLVE. CHANGE. ADAPT. GROW. SUCCEED.
One of the sticking points often is using social platforms. If you know you need to use Social Media but think it’s a waste of time or you don’t get it you will benefit from this
Rachel Goodchild is managing director of Identify.