One major reason many businesses fail is their inability to envisage change, capture its ramifications and possible impact on their operations and respond appropriately. A business regarded as a colossus in its industry may become the Lilliput if it fails to plan for change and offer a timely response to change.
Monitoring developments in the local economy in which a business operates is fundamental. All through the lifecycle of any business, economic policies or shifts in the direction of an economy will always alter the shape and value of the business. Monetary policies affecting the cost of funds, currency valuation and fiscal policies impacting on taxation and duties are a few examples of trends that any business must keep a tab on. Ways of doing this is to access information from the business media and through your industry association.
Don’t be oblivious of competitors’ activities especially new methods they adopt in production, distribution, pricing and even staffing. Are these new methods creating better customer value for them thus threatening your own market share? Always scan your industry.
The dynamic technological environment offers many valuable opportunities for businesses. Getting stuck with an old technology because you’re used to it and think that adopting a new and better technology may be disruptive could spell danger. The business may be bleeding because of higher costs associated with the current technology practices or relatively slow in responding to consumer demands.
Those who run businesses should also monitor changes in their target population, such as changes in lifestyle, tastes, income shifts, health consciousness, religious fervor etc. These are trends that may remotely or directly impact on your business or shape the way your business operates.
Businesses should invest in a strategic planning function that keeps the business plan under constant review and scans the environment to detect possible shifts that require timely responses. The wind of change is inevitable.