As a business owner, you need to worry about more than just how your company currently operates — you also need to look ahead to how you’ll perform in the future. The more you can anticipate the changing needs of your clients, your employees and the economy, the better prepared you are to take on any challenges that come your way.
As Tony says, “Leaders anticipate and losers react.” When you begin to anticipate change in your industry, you’ll find yourself better equipped to adapt your strategy to ensure long-term success. Your ultimate competitive advantage is anticipation, so here are Tony’s seven business triggers to be aware of and routinely evaluating.
The first trigger you need to prepare for is a change in your competition. You might be offering more value than your current competitors, but are you keeping an eye out for emerging companies? For instance, consider the initial appeal of Netflix. If you were operating a Blockbuster, you might have had a devoted following and offered superior products when compared to your top competitor, Hollywood Video. However, you weren’t aware a company like Netflix would come blow you out of the water.
Stay ahead of industry trends and watch out for emerging competitors. If a new business does gain prominence, don’t brush them off just because you’re currently at the top of the industry. Instead, look at what they’re doing, like mailing DVDs directly to customers’ homes, and see if your company could gain value from any new practices.
How do you prepare for change? Even if you’re using cutting-edge technology, you have to acknowledge that these tools may one day be obsolete. VHS tapes quickly progressed to DVDs, which ultimately led the way for digital streaming services. The next trend will likely be 3D and virtual reality viewing experiences. Regardless of what product or service you’re selling, have you thought about how your chosen field’s technology may change? Not if, but when it does change, how will your business be ready to evolve?
To succeed in business, you have to think about the culture you’re catering to. What does your culture value? What will people pay money for, and why? How is this culture different from previous generations, and how will it continue to change over time?
Several decades ago, it was a treat for families to go out to the movies together. With the rise of digital technology, many people prefer to stay home and stream the latest movies. Brands like Amazon and Netflix make it easy for users to pay for a subscription or make one-time movie purchases. They have anticipated their current clients’ needs and still provide a convenient reliable service. However, those in the streaming industry must now look forward to what our culture will value next year and the year after that.
The economy is constantly fluctuating. There will be periods of recession and growth, no matter your industry. How can you prepare yourself for these inevitable changes? How can you confidently pay your team to perform well while still making sure you protect the business from possible financial obstacles? These are the questions you need to ask yourself so you’re fully prepared for periods of both abundance and loss. For example, if you work at Netflix and the economy crashes, how will you continue to cater to clients looking to cut back on luxuries? Do you offer special low rates for new subscribers? Do you release a limited series to keep the attention of current viewers? Find strategies that can help you succeed no matter the economic climate.
Who is the target demographic for your product or service? If you’re Netflix, you’re most likely trying to reach adults in their 20-40s. But how do your customers’ habits change as their lives change? Are they watching more or less programming after they experience major life events like graduating college or having a child? Are you losing customers as they get married, because they now only need one account instead of two? Your customers’ lives are going to change, so your offerings should anticipate these developments.
Similarly, the lives of your employees are going to change. As a business owner, it’s your duty to take care of your team. Things happen in life — babies are born, people get married, some will battle health scares. Or maybe a key staff member unexpectedly leaves the company. No matter the event, you have to analyze the landscape and expect internal change. If you rely too closely on one employee, or neglect the needs of a department, it’s not going to work.
Figure out how to balance the needs of the company while still realizing that your employees are people with their own lives happening behind the scenes. If you work to create a culture that’s accommodating, your employees will want to stay on board even in the event of a major change.
Have you hit a plateau in your career? Do you feel like you need to go off on an exotic sojourn or take some time to yourself? Even if these things seem unrealistic with your current schedule, you have to plan for them. There will come a day when you need to step back from work and hand the reins over to someone else. Anticipate this need ahead of time so the company can continue successfully operating during your absence.
“People who succeed at the highest level are not lucky. They’re doing something differently than everyone else,” said Tony Robbins. The only certainty in business is that things will continue to change. If you make yourself ready for change, you will become better able to make the right decisions when needed. Prepare yourself by becoming familiarized with these seven business triggers and watch as your company thrives.
At Business Mastery, you will learn the strategies to anticipate and evolve so you can build a business that thrives – no matter the circumstances.