Like people, companies of all sizes come and go. The ones that live the longest actively work on their health and never take it for granted. In a professional services firm, good business management is essential.
When did you first hear of the iPhone, Android, Uber, Spotify, Kindle, Airbnb or Instagram. The answer has to be less than 10 years ago. Even Skype and Facebook are only a little older.
And when did you last hear of Kodak, Blackberry or PanAm. It might have been when you were astounded to hear of their bankruptcy.
When businesses and people take more photos, make more mobile phone calls and fly more around the globe than ever before, how did it happen to these businesses that appeared to have the world in the palms of their hands.
The answer is simple.
It takes a special sort of business management to maintain a company in good health over a long period of time. And a common thread in big companies that fall over is that they thought they were bigger than their market. They thought their market was following them. They became too busy and too important to change their ways. So the market left them behind.
Last minute tweaks and PR charm offensives couldn’t save them.
By the time managers with the will and the means to make changes realised what was happening, it was all over.
The key to staying alive is not in picking winners. It’s not in being the biggest. And it’s not in being the most popular. To keep in touch, should you try ‘focus groups’ where you set the agenda? Forget it. What about drinks and tickets to major events to keep clients in love with you? Forget it.
Surviving is all about being in touch with the market. Your market. It’s in staying nimble and responding to requests and changes – in your market. It’s also about actively looking to see changes coming that maybe even your market hasn’t yet seen nor adopted. You have to respond as soon as you can. But if you’re truly in touch with your market then that’s really just the same thing.
While it’s well known that most small business don’t ever really properly launch, (most don’t survive their first 18 months), bigger business go to the wall for another simple reason.
Living as I do ‘Down-Under’ (the home of innovation we’ll all agree 😊) people have a saying that encapsulates the fatal ethos, “She’ll be right!”
So before you find out the market has left you behind, and it’s not right, regardless of your company size, put in place actions to ensure that you’re in tune with today’s market. And put time into discussing and put into place actions based on where you can see the market is likely to be going tomorrow.
How’s your market resilience?
We’d love to hear what you do to keep your company staying alive and living longer.
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