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Three areas at some stage we will find ourselves having to make quick decisions within our business activities.
Similar to the fight or flight reaction, the directional course is subjective to the individual and how they adapt to their decisions and outcomes.
What we know is within the business world we work in there will always be:-
- Won & Lost customers
- Strong & Weak markets/channels
- New product, companies and USP’s
- Price fluctuations up and down ↑ ↓
- ‘Acts of God’ simply unaccountable
- Innovations in channels
- Trending or Non trending products & services
- Good and bad service
- Good people coming and going
- Strong or weak cash flow
- Economic crisis or fluctuations
These are just a few to mention, but ultimately all are factors that we have to deal with in some way or form. They may arrive as individual scenarios, or they could all be apparent at once.
The single constant is that they need action, implementation and strategic planning to ensure that you are fluid at adapting with them, not static, just allowing the causes to eat way into your business.
This activity simply cannot be avoided in the business.
Whilst many brands and products have stood the test of time, they have done this through evolution of their products or services. Evolving doesn’t mean changing everything, it simply means adapting what already works to suit the changing circumstances that you now are facing.
An example evolving can be seen in cooking appliances.
To cook we need heat, that is a given, yet evolving this manufacturers have added cool touch doors, Wi-Fi connectivity for ease of control, soft close doors and LED lighting.
The cooking is still done with heat, but the consumer and the market are driven by evolution.
Therefore, the products still cook, but customers have aspirations now around form and function because of what they see. If manufacturers just provided a box that heats up it would cook, but it would be left behind by the competition with their evolving innovations.
Evolving is only necessary when the situations requite it.
They say don’t try and fix it if it’s not broken. It is however always worth in whatever situation you are in being prepared for it to break!
If you are then when it does you will have a plan B to follow through.
The other option available is to evade in business. This is not a weakness or a easy way out, if anything, this is one of the harder decisions to make in business, yet can provide the best results.
If a business was to mirror every change to every product or service that was in competition with them, evolving each of their own products to match, this would be simply not cost effective.
- Are all the products in their market channels?
- What’s the sales opportunity on each product or service?
- Do they need additional product lines?
- Working capital tied up in stock?!
- Investment costs to change?
- ROI from all this evolution?
- Market or channel focus and effective leadership?
- Taken seriously by customers or just seen as a ‘me too’ supplier, who copy other businesses ideas?
Therefore this is where to evade is actually an opportunity.
Evade the products and trends that do not mirror your customers or core market channels. Maintain focus on what delivers your growth, build on this and explore the opportunity within.
Grow market share by focussing on the competition and evolving the products and services that are your current KSL’s (key selling lines)
The benefit of evading every trend in your market is that you can really focus on evolving what works and listening to your customers feedback, as to how these can be improved. This way you ate leading evolution from factual feedback, not following the crowd.
Aim to capture, not be captured
For anyone business is what we make it. The opportunities are out there and just need to be sought out and captured.
Whilst we are out evolving and evading, we are also being hunted down…by the competition. We could just evade our business and market share being captured, but that would be short term as defending your estate protects what you have, but it doesn’t grow your business, it just maintains it.
As mentioned above in the evolve section, customers can and will move on, so defence of your business, products and services is only part of the jigsaw to fill.
Therefore, to capture is to advance forward and grow your share.
- Take share from the competition within the existing estate
- Build strong and multi person relationships throughout your customers
- Look for areas where you can add value and ‘acquire’ incremental business
- Don’t just defend your existing business, go on the offensive in search of new
- Where are the competition strong, which accounts underpin their business?
- Start to build relationships, acquire small areas of impact and grow your position
- Search out weak points and evolve to these areas which will provide advances in share and revenue
- Concentrate not just in one area specific, take your competition off guard
- Coach the teams to search out as well as defend in every area
- Always have a support plan for each of your major accounts, if they were to stop trading today
- Focus on you and your products strengths
- Defend your existing customers daily from competition taking share
- Evolve your offer to add value and capture incremental share in existing accounts
- Evade getting bogged down with unnecessary changes with no opportunity
- Evade losing relationships through complacency, build and strengthen them
- Capture new share from the competition, piece by piece.
- Hunt out areas that add value, find USP’s and build new relationships
To see how your team could develop growth through effective questioning, contact Stormley Consulting for more information.
Working to improve and empower your people to grow your business to the next level.