Business Magazine

10 Keys To Success Despite Accelerated Market Change

Posted on the 20 October 2023 by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

accelerated-market-changeMost experts agree that the pace of business change is increasing, and all the business owners I know are struggling to keep up, much less surpass the wealth of global competitors now entering the market. Based on my own experience as a business executive, I believe it’s time to be more proactive in preparing for change, rather than just reacting to the latest growth crisis.

That means working harder both outside as well as inside your business to anticipate and prepare for changes that are coming before you even know what they are. The traditional guidance of “keep your head down” and drive your dream to success is no longer adequate. You need an outside groundswell of support as well as inside to keep your head above water.

Here are a few of the key strategies I recommend for a client to survive and thrive today. The first ones address trends that I see in the market today, while the rest are meant to force you to be proactive in managing your own team and organization to anticipate the level of change I’m sure you will face ahead.

  1. Enlist industry leaders and influencers as proponents. Networking to build and maintain positive relationships with the right people outside your company is something you can’t forget in the rush to get your new business going. Potential customers these days rely more and more on name recognition for credibility and new brand adoption.
  2. Align your mission with a higher purpose in the economy. These days, customers are drawn to support worthy causes, such as saving the environment or feeding the hungry. For example, consider Whole Foods, whose focus on healthy foods and a sustainable environment is legendary, even though their prices are often a bit higher.

  3. Bring in experienced advisors to keep you on track. Most new businesses need three to five advisors or board members to regularly evaluate progress and resource needs, as well as your own leadership. These advisors need a stake in your success, like a monthly stipend, or an equity share of the business. This is not a place for friends and family.

  4. Highlight the competitive edge you bring to the market. Focus on a customer pain that your solution satisfies better than any competitor. Quantify the results, and avoid any fuzzy words, such as better usability, advanced technology, or more productivity. Client cost differentials of less than twenty percent are usually not enough to incent change.

  5. Use test marketing to identify changes before scale-up. Before you spend big money on inventory and scale over a wide area, make sure you have finalized your marketing, manufacturing, and distribution resources. Many new businesses have lost their credibility by not being able to deliver or having a major recall early in the growth cycle.

  6. Put operational systems and metrics in place early. In the chaos of scaling, it’s hard to identify and fix weaknesses before they become a crisis. Be transparent with your team on both problems and successes, as you need to keep them engaged and trusting you. Also take the time to get feedback on your own leadership and work on the culture.

  7. Keep your product focus narrow and messages clear. Resist the urge to expand your offering during early growth with additional products, services, and business models. These often confuse customers and take additional resources and people when you can least afford the costs. Establish a formal change request process and analyze options.

  8. Establish a written strategic plan, updated often. If you want maximum contributions from your team, they need to know the plan, and have a role in creating it. Your job as a leader is to provide the resources to implement the plan, communicate it effectively to the team, and bring people in with right skills as partners and employees to make it happen.

  9. Reward team members who are advocates of change. Many team members have learned from prior experience that talk of change and change failures are all penalized, rather than rewarded for new learning and a path to success. The best rewards are often to be recognized in front of peers, and encouragement to support suggested changes.

  10. Proactively provide training and team member rotation. People need to be given challenging new assignments and constantly learning to stay motivated and engaged. Keep up with new technology for internal processes, actively hire people with new skills, and provide industry training for exposure to new techniques and competition.

The objective of these strategies is to make business change a proactive opportunity or leadership, rather than a crisis with high recovery costs, and an excuse for failure. It’s a mindset that you must adopt and nurture, and build into the culture of your team. Life is too short to make it all pain and no joy. I recommend that you start now to look ahead rather than fight to catch up.

Marty Zwilling

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog