So focused on what he had always done Buster had not noticed that some pigeons now had taser guns!
“There are no rewards for saying “If only”” James Banham
To reduce the risk of putting yourself in the position of saying “if only ….” you must front up and face the brutal facts, only then will you be able to seek out opportunities. Four reality checks and opportunities:
- Reality check/opportunity number 1 – nothing lasts forever. Business is brutal; if someone can get “it” or get it “done” better, cheaper or more cost effectively they will. This has always been the case; the first, second and third Industrial revolutions provide evidence of this and in today’s disruptive markets people are more aware and it is much easier to bench mark. If you are ahead of the game and get pole position you will have a huge advantage. It is part of the phenomenon of disruptive marketing, once in pole position companies who try to follow are often ignored in favour of the first.
- Reality check/opportunity number 2 – the mirror test. Don’t confuse “personal/friendship relationships” with “trusted relationships”. In business people want to work with people they can trust after all their livelihoods and everything they work for is affected by it. In business, there is a contract, I will provide this and you will pay me. With friendship, there is no contract it is just two people who enjoy each other’s company, don’t try and use it as the bases to secure a business relationship. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask “has my business model got integrity or am I just hanging on to business because my customers don’t know better?” If it is the latter time is running out for you as the world is becoming much more transparent. Use this as an opportunity to establish your brand as a trusted one and open up the market you operate in.
- Reality check/opportunity number 3 – walk the talk. In today’s disruptive markets it is only a matter of time before people know as much about your business as you do. Are you delivering what you say you deliver or is it that your customers don’t know any better? Are you what you promote yourself to be? Take your strap line, can you unequivocally back it up or is it something that the marketing department has created? Can you be trusted? The internet and social media have created “open Book costing” where people can compare and contrast and no one knows they are doing it, example price compare.com. If you don’t walk the talk the clock is ticking for you. Use this as an opportunity to focus on what you love doing and build the business you want..
- Reality check/opportunity number 4 – Your economic drivers. Make sure you know what your economic drivers are: how you make your money, what you are dependent on, make sure that they are in tune with the markets you operate in and that there is a future for them. For example, if your economic drivers revolve around employing people ask yourself the question, “Can/will a machine/computer be able to replace the people I employ?” If the answer is yes, then you need to find some new economic drivers and/or start planning to invest in the technology. Change for you is on its way. The earlier you start planning for the change whether it be investment in technology or training, the better and your competition will be forever playing catch-up.