Change is life. No where is this more appropriate than in the business world, writes Mark Cox of Cox Financial Services.
The rate of change has increased exponentially in recent years, cars, phones, computers, there’s always something new and different constantly being offered to us.
The technology offered to business owners and consumers in general is as dazzling as it is baffling.
As successful new things come into the market it’s inevitable that old one’s go. Things that worked a few years ago now do not have the same appeal or work as well. Technology must be embraced and used effectively within the businesses model.
Woolworths, BHS, HMV, Toys ‘R’ Us and many other famous names have failed to adapt in this changing market.
Small businesses have an advantage here in that they are inherently more flexible and closer to their customers. Large businesses have a great deal of inertia to change, there’s extended layers of authority and the decision makers are somewhat removed from the customers they serve. By the time the senior people within the organisation are aware of a problem the damage is done.
The problem small business has is often one of time, business owners are too busy fixing the day to day stuff to spend the time analysing the business and looking for new opportunities, what gets done is often the urgent (day to day stuff) not the important (growing the business).
A thorough analysis of the sales ledger is a good place to start, chop up the data into sales by sector, customer, area and relative margins. This can be enlightening if you have one big customer that has really tight margins or maybe you ship to a certain location that again affects margin.
What you’re looking for is the area of the business that doesn’t soak up much time, is repeatable and has good margins, find that and then do more of the same whether that’s a sector, area or product. Then look around for an innovative solution to growing this sector that wasn’t available until recently. This is what’s known as ‘disruption’ it’s what Uber did for the taxi business and amazon did for bookselling.
Following an analysis for our business, we made a simple change to our process for Business Growth; We now offer our clients face-to-face advice meetings via video conferencing software. This change has saved time and costs for our clients and the business, it now allows us to deliver a Nationwide service, and we have kept the quality of our service.