Are you a small business owner facing a crisis on the economic front? Has your business fallen on hard times and things seem unresolvable? Running a business is never a cakewalk, but sometimes it gets tough to make both ends meet.
In the dynamic age of technology that is driven by gadgets and everything going “smart”, one can never be sure of smooth sustenance. A business that is at the zenith of success might find itself struggling in the wake of inevitable competition and rising customer expectations.
While its never too late to begin, it’s the right time for business owners to begin evaluating future before it gets overtaken by constantly changing technology. Entrepreneurs need to have a clear picture of how they see themselves in future instead of getting overwhelmed by evolving innovation.
To help out with the same, we have come up with some of the most vital lessons that will allow entrepreneurs figure out on how to adapt and survive in the constantly changing landscape.
Reinvention is the Right Way to Go
While you might have heard of reinvention in business journals talking about how to drive innovation and gain business insights, we don’t want you to take back to the same old theory.
First of all, it is important to understand that you do not have to be blooming, established high tech enterprise or firm to reinvent your business. In fact, the smaller you are in scale, the faster you can shift your gears and zoom back to action!
Sit back and have a hard look at your strength and weaknesses. You need to ask yourself some hard questions and seek answers for the same to gain clarity.
- Are customers looking for the same products and services you have been selling for past years?
- Have businesses and demands changed over time? If yes, how flexible have you been in adopting the change?
- What changes should you incorporate to drive leads?
You don’t have to guess but have a head-on interaction with the sales team and discover if there is any particular niche that has witnessed customers outpour, and then find ways to dive into it.
Maintain a Small R&D Wing Insulated From Rest of the Business
Every business organization, no matter how big or small has an R&D arm that focuses on incremental improvements. However, the key here is to set up an R&D team that works towards possible improvements without aligning its goal with current business needs.
The team needs to be dynamic and fuel changes even if threatens primary business model. Ideally, the CEO’s should engage and connect with lower level leaders who can otherwise resist innovation for fear of degrading their performance. The team size can be very small, for example, it doesn’t need to find ways invent the next AI Program but just chalk out new steps on how the existing AI model can reinforce your business.
Marketing will turn out to be more important than ever
In the wake of rising income inequality, the gap will increase and computers and digital technology will take heavily limiting job functions in the coming age of automation. This will simply mean that businesses will witness a small number of people with big incomes taking over the purchase of consumer goods.
Think ahead and Dive into Necessary Investments
A company can make the latest technology fun and intuitive or can make it completely disjoint and difficult. This is where the concept of Band-Aid vs Overhaul comes into play. People stick quickly to devices and applications that are easy to use. It is the user experience that favours growth.
Let us consider an example:
If the IT wing in the business needs changes in some systems for better integration and easier daily operations, consider making that investment. Trying to create solutions or making them fit into an existing framework can significantly slow down network speed and frustrate users, moving employees farther away from embracing change.
Stay Aware of what your competitors are doing
As a small business, it is very important to know what your competition is up to in the market. Analyse how your contenders are stacked up in the digital world? What does their online presence look like? Their social following? Their local reviews? Knowing this is key to maximizing your own business potential.
Real Story: How Yahoo Lost Its Way Failing To Keep with Evolving Technology
Time and again there have been examples where companies who were once at the zenith of success witnessed downfall hitting rock bottom on account of their failure to adapt to technological change.
When Web search and aggregation were still a virgin territory, it was Yahoo who did a pioneering effort to charge for services like E-mail and file sharing. While Google was offering everything for free, customers increasingly flocked to Google. Meanwhile, Yahoo was venturing out as a huge web portal with strong sports, financial, and news coverage. However, the search giant witnessed a sharp downfall over a period of 15 years missing opportunities and eventually lost out to its arch rivals.
1998: Yahoo refused to buy Google for $1 million
2002: The search giant tried to buy Google for $3 billion but failed when Google asked for $5 Billion
2008:Yahoo refused to be sold to Microsoft for $40 billion
2016: Yahoo was sold off to Verizon for $4.6 billion
Even Yahoo’s acquisition pattern over the years brings out the fact that technology changes at a rapid pace. When it launched, the internet was a different place. But the rise of tech companies like Google increased user knowledge; and a flurry of ill-suited executives who could not decide on a suitable direction, Yahoo lost its way and failed to keep up.
Technolgy is constantly changing and will continue to prove instrumental in impacting businesses in the coming future age. Hence, understand it, acknowledge it and be ready to embrace the changes that can make you implement your best version in your respective industry.