How to Beat the Competition in Your Industry
- August 29, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: JR leadership
If you are going to satisfy a market need, you have to listen to the market and give people what they want. Sounds obvious, right?
But that means you have to evolve if customers tells you to, and that can be difficult. After all, you have spent all this time identifying market need X. You have raised money, laid out a sales and distribution plan and figured out exactly what you need to do to make X a reality. And then, all of a sudden, the market says X is not such a good idea or Y would be better.
Can you change in that sort of situation?
If you can’t you are doomed. Making the world’s best VCR does you little good when the world is demanding DVRs.
What does this mean for you and your organization? You need to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Let’s talk about five ideas you can use to do just that.
1. Scan the horizon and develop the skills you are going to need. The phrase “continuous learning” has become a cliche, and that’s too bad. Being a one trick pony doesn’t do you any good when the market is tired of your trick. You always have to be learning new skills to satisfy evolving customer needs.
2. Cross-training. Just like you, everyone in your organization needs to be flexible and adaptable.
3. Few fixed costs. The deeper the roots the harder it is to move. Keep that thought in mind before you make any large expenditures.
4. Constantly refresh your workforce. Organizations can get set in their ways just like people do. One simple way to overcome that is to consistently hire new people. And if those people are younger than you are, so much the better. To a dinosaur like me, there is something comforting about watching people in their 20s and 30s cope with change in general and the constant upheaval in technology in particular. For example, I have yet to meet someone under 25 who isn’t comfortable using countless office productivity programs or who can navigate their way around a Mac or PC. (I think of them as being bi-lingual.)
5. And speaking of bi-lingual what have you done to recognize that we will, in the foreseeable future, be a minority-majority country? (For example, I am amazed that every consumer product website is NOT available in English and Spanish.)
None of these five things are particularly easy. But they all need to be done, if you want to stay ahead of the competition.