This Is Exactly What You Need To Do In Order To Stay One Step Ahead Of The Competition

This Is What You Really Need to Do to Stay Ahead of the Competition

When you meet with a potential investor, one of the first questions they will ask you about your company is, “What is your strategy?” Investors are interested in learning how you intend to succeed in the marketplace while also meeting their financial expectations. When they assess danger, your battle strategy is at the forefront of their minds.

To paraphrase Eisenhower, “I have always found that plans are worthless in preparing for a fight, but that planning is important in preparing for battle.” That amid a conflict (or in a moving market), circumstances might compel you to adopt measures or strategies that were not originally anticipated. That was his argument. If the situation becomes very hot or explosive, you may even be forced to abandon your initial approach and devise a whole new one from scratch. Preparation is essential; you must arm yourself with acceptable contingencies and be ready to adjust as the scenario develops. Survival in a commercial environment that is continually changing is dependent on it.

Being Large May Not Always Provide Protection

Even large corporations have suffered failures in the real world because they could not let go of their initial tactics and strategic approaches. Blockbuster, Kodak, and Blackberry are examples of companies that fit under this category.

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In a proposal to Blockbuster CEO John Antioco, Netflix founder Reed Hastings suggested cooperation. Blockbuster eventually rejected the idea and stayed with its original income strategy, mainly relying on collecting late fines from customers. No one expected Netflix’s new disc-by-mail service with no late fees to gain the widespread market acceptance that it achieved, and Blockbuster was right to be skeptical. When combined with other internal culture issues, the choice led to Blockbuster going bankrupt in only five years.

Kodak had a similar fate owing to an inability to bend. Moreover, as Scott Anthony writes in the Harvard Business Review, the company was not reluctant to incorporate new technologies into operations. In reality, Kodak invested billions of dollars in developing several digital cameras. The corporation recognized that consumers wanted to share images on the internet even better. However, most of its innovation was hampered by poor management. Kodak’s initial business strategy was likewise based on leveraging camera consumables (such as film and printing sheets) to generate earnings rather than their cameras themselves. When it became clear that customers had shifted their preferences and that online photo sharing had become the new norm, Kodak’s leaders attempted to rebrand the company as a commercial printing business to continue to rely on the consumables infrastructure they already had in place rather than changing their business model entirely.

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Last but not least, there’s Blackberry. The company created a QWERTY keyboard optimized for mobile devices, which became a well-known symbol (even among yourself). In 2000, the business introduced the Blackberry 957, the company’s first smartphone to be produced. In contrast, when the iPhone first appeared on the market, Blackberry regarded it as “playful” and intended for younger consumers. However, corporate executives, who constituted Blackberry’s primary market, swooped in to buy iPhones and other Android-based devices with comparable features. While Blackberry worked to improve device features, such as the physical keyboard, to better serve professionals performing specific work tasks, the company failed to recognize the market that was converging personal and professional devices; the days of carrying two devices would soon be over, according to the company. Device models designed to keep their core business customers were introduced too slowly and did not perform well enough. Blackberry no longer competes in the smartphone industry in any way, shape, or form.

Adaptive Teams, On The Other Hand, Can Fight Another Day

Even though many businesses have died due to being overly inflexible, others, such as Western Union, Nintendo, and Apple, have done a fantastic job of moving their swords from their right to their left hand and pushing ahead on the battlefield a new road.

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Western Union began operations in 1851 as a provider of telegraph services. However, it was understood by business that the actual strength of the telegraph or universal communications lay in the way it brought people together. In the words of Western Union’s website, “from its early origins, Western Union has improved technology to link people together.” To fill that gap, Western Union experimented with a wide variety of goods and services during the company’s existence, including teletypewriters and teleprinters, satellites, telegrams, and mailgrams, among other things. This covered services such as money order delivery.

As technology shifted in various ways, Western Union sold off most of its communications assets and moved its primary emphasis to financial services. However, the corporation continues to assert that the goal behind those financial services is to connect people and, as a result, better lives — it is the same objective. Still, it takes a different road to achieve it via other means.

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