There’s a very interesting phenomenon that often takes place in small business environments that to some extent can be predicted.
Solo businesses that roll along from day to day and week to week, never trying new methods or strategies, never experimenting with radically different systems or marketing, can be pretty much assured that their results will remain steady and predictable.
I have noticed that it’s at times of greatest change and upheaval that some businesses make their greatest leap forward.
In essence, the business owner decides to depart from former or traditional ideas and methods and strike out in a new direction, or with a new and different approach.
Making radical modifications and changes always carries some risk, of course – the chance that the business will find the changes resulted in fewer profits over time, or more work (and expense), or fewer prospects and customers.
But if those risks can be controlled, and minimized, the exercise will often prove to be one of great importance to the growth of the business. Often I have heard business owners lament that they had not implemented the needed changes sooner when they first had the idea or the desire to make a change.
Every economy and every market undergoes changes over time, and it seems as though those changes come at an ever-increasing rate.
If you allow your business to remain static or basically the same – not dealing with or recognizing those market changes – there is a good chance you will be overtaken by other competitors that understand the times and the new market dynamics.
As a small business owner, it would be smart to watch for and learn about all the trends and directions of your niche market. Where do you first hear about these changes? You learn about them from your close attention to news in the niche, from talking to your suppliers, from other business owners in the same market, questioning the desires and wants of your customers, and seeing if there are ways to learn from other niches that could be transferred to your niche.
When you see these upheavals taking place, when you see major shifts and new directions happening, that is the time to position your company to be able to take advantage of the transition periods (which may or may not have already begun).
The information age that is upon us requires that the business owner move very rapidly. The owner must quickly adapt to changes coming and steer his business out of the status quo toward new opportunities, technologies, and strategies.
It will be those companies that vigilantly watch for, understand, adapt, and retool for the new directions and challenges that have the greatest chance for dramatic new successes and exponential growth through new systems and methods.
Maintaining the status quo or ignoring the market conditions that arise to change the economy or industry that you deal in means you will soon lose any advantage you may have had in previous times.
At the very least, this owner behavior will translate to reduced relevance in the chosen niche.
And it could mean that your whole business and all your products will soon be outdated and useless beyond fixing.
Become a student of your niche. Follow industry news, press releases, product introductions, major corporate take-overs, buyouts, and mergers. Stay close to your customers and see what they desire and if their preferences change.
Be willing to experiment in new products, lines, and marketing approaches in ways that will allow your business to “test the water” without betting the farm on the outcome. Track, test, and tweak on a small scale before you take any major leaps or course corrections.
Seek ways to lower the risk of these experiments by testing and seeing if you can control costs while anticipating new demand.
The future lies with those that know how to rapidly adapt and deploy their business and products to the market and cater to the industry changes within their niche.
To your online business success!