I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic companies this year has been one of my most exciting years in business. I want to share some of the insights I gleaned and the most effective assignments we completed to achieve our goals.
It appears that many companies have been thrown out of sync by the dramatically changed economy and most are trying to deal with the new phenomena of “non-consumption”, where consumers are not buying at all in a particular category, so it is not the competition that is gaining at the company’s expense, everyone is losing.
Spinning on the same step is a phrase that a visionary leader suggested his team were doing by focusing entirely on operations, instead of making the required step change that was needed to catch the next market opportunity to ensure continued profit growth.
The biggest challenge most companies face trying to make a step change, is taking time out to think and discuss the new conditions and then re-focus their vision and strategy. Is this a familiar challenge for you and your team?
Now that the entire environment and market context that you operate in has experienced seismic changes, you and your management team need take a step back from the doing and spend some time thinking.
To do this well you need to gather critical information on the changing market context and the new needs of customers. From here you can decide how best to re-align to deliver to this new customer and move on to a new path for growth. Without information and insight you could continue to work as hard as you can but end up delivering in the wrong area, and thus continue to spiral downwards.
I urge you to set up a series of conversations with your management team to look at your market space, your competitors and your customers needs, in a systematic way. The following is the first assignment for you to consider so that you can set out the context for the business, as it stands today. With this completed, it is easier to make decisions about where the future opportunities may lie.
Assignment 1: Review the current situation.
What market space are you in, at its broadest level (consider the alternatives the customer has to solve their problem)
How has it changed?
What would the industry experts say is happening in the industry?
Who are the competitors if you look at them from the customer perspective?
What do you want to be famous for?
What are the projects, services or products that your team are most proud of?
How is your product or service different?
Who are your different customer segments? (try to group customers with shared characteristics, all customers are not the same)
What does it take to win in your sector?
How easy is it to copy what you do?
What are the competencies you think you need to develop to be the best?
What would your customers say you are famous for?
What benefits do you provide for them? How would they describe the benefits they get from your product or service? What problem do you solve for them?
What do they consider to be really important when they are making a decision to buy?
How do you think you perform on these criteria?
How is your product/service better for them than going to a competitor?
Why should they choose you over your competitor?
Tip for the week: Get your managers to complete the questions individually and then come together and record you answers. You get a richer picture as each person brings their own unique perspective. This is first step in gathering the critical information to make more profitable decisions. More next week.
If you need any help or need to clarify anything, come to a breakthrough clinic where we can discuss the best way for you to approach this for your business. Don’t hesitate to drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 086-2566116. I will ask you the right questions to provoke new thinking within your company and I will work relentlessly with the team to find opportunities for the company to grow. I bring momentum, inspiration, concrete solid market information, collaborative fresh thinking and most of all results.