So many new businesses in old industries are successful because of the assumptions they disrupt: how we buy books (or anything), how we get from point A to point B, how we communicate, how our vehicles are fueled, how they are driven. It continues.
I suspect that many business owners if they were asked, would not start a business now in the industry they are in. It has become too much of a commodity. The market has changed. Competition has become national if not global. When they started, they were the new, new thing. Now they are the old slow moving stalwart.
What now? What will differentiate you from your competitors may come from changes that are quite small or it may need to be revolutionary. Many leadership teams ponder Blue Ocean strategies* in the hope that something totally new will emerge.
From the companies I have seen, no amazing new product or service has emerged.
I have seen some good tweaks, add-on’s, improved processes or faster customer service as a result of re-thinking “how we do things around here”. This has resulted in sales increases and better bottom line. Maybe that is disappointing but continuous improvement keeps you in the mix. Nothing wrong with that.
Next leadership meeting, send this agenda in advance: name 3 things you would do differently if we were starting the business today. Bring a clear position, data to back it up, and your interpretation.
Something fabulous might result.
*Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Photo courtesy of HK.yahoo.com