But what if that is no longer enough?
What if despite following the Vision, Strategies, Systems & People mantra that there is potential for the new kid on the block to win that next big contract from under your nose?
Don’t laugh, I’m afraid that unless you keep up to date with customer expectations, product life cycle, trends in your industry and importantly Technology!
Let’s look at each of those areas.
- Customer expectations – In this day and age customers or potential customers can gain intimate knowledge of not only your product but also your reputation, quality and price as well as having the luxury of comparing them to your competition. Spend some time in the shoes (and eyes) of a prospective client; do you like what you see, what you hear? What needs improving? What can be done better?
- Product life cycle & trends – where is your product or service in its life cycle? Do you have its successor planned and prepared for implementation. What market research have you done? Are your sales in decline or in a growth phase? Have you thought about diversification?
- Technology – this is a big one! You may think that your product and/or service is immune to modern technology, smartphones etc. however none of us are immune. These days many people only use their smartphones whether its to search a product or service, pay their bills, check in on their next flight, monitor their sleep or scan an invoice to send to their virtual PA in the Philippines. Just the other day I had the privilege of comparing an old school construction business model to a new one when I met up with a new client who through the use of all the “on the cloud” apps available to him is able to run his business in real time i.e. all the sales leads, job orders, the status of each project, procurement, cash-flow and profit! All in real time! Then I compare that to the established bigger businesses in the same industry who are still relying on an old school accountant ten days into the following month telling them how they went last month… Hmmm, I know who my money is on this year!
Anyway, I hope this gives you some food for thought at the beginning of this new year and hopefully it provokes you into asking some questions.
Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail…..