Business is changing at light speed. Skills are changing just as fast. Here are 7 questions you need to ask and 6 things you can do to stay current.
- Where and how could disruption impact your business?
- How will your skills and those of your employees be impacted?
- What are you still doing where new technology or process improvement could have an impact?
- Are you embracing change, shying away from it or ignoring it?
- What are your competitors doing that you are not?
- What is your industry discussing?
- What the newest trends in your industry?
Two examples, which have been in the news lately, of staying relevant and the impact it can have on your business are cab drivers and Verizon.
An Oct 2015 article in Commonwealth Magazine by Jack Sullivan, talked about cab drivers who are turning in their medallions which can cost upwards of $400,000 now due to Uber and Lyft. They were worth upwards of $666,547 in 2014. The cab companies are regulated while Uber and Lyft are not. The cab companies want the others to be regulated as they are. Uber had done an incredible job of disrupting an industry. In 2015 Uber’s estimated worth was between $50-$70 Billion dollars. To show how quickly this happened, Jack Sullivan stated this way in his article
“The average price of medallions sold this year is $402,444, according to CommonWealth Magazine—down from $666,547 last year. CommonWealth also found that medallion sales have decreased dramatically: In 2009, more than 90 medallions were sold, the magazine reported, but in the first six months of 2015, there have been just 10 medallion sales.”
To put this in perspective, this disruption occurred over a 6-8 year period. While some would say a life time in business, overall, it was relatively quick.
Verizon has been on strike for a couple of weeks now. It is the landline division of Verizon. Another shrinking industry as more and more people cut the cord on landlines and move to cell phones. While there may be sympathy for the strikers, it doesn’t really cause a lot of pain for the customers the way it would have years ago. The wireless business is eliminating the landline business. While that disruption was slower it still changed an industry. Think about how fast the cell phone business alone is changing.
Two examples of long time traditional businesses that have been interrupted and may be completely wiped out. Disruption is everywhere. It can be relatively quick and may not offer much warning as in the case of Uber and Lyft or a gradual change over time like the phone companies.
Keep in mind as the barriers to entry in businesses get lower and easier, competitors and new ways of doing things will appear fast and more often. You need to keep your eye on the ball of changes in your industry.
Changes or disruptions in an industry will impact hiring top talent or keeping top talent, customer acquisition, customer satisfaction and business growth. What are you doing to keep your stakeholders happy and current?
Here are 6 suggestions on how you can reduce the risk of being blindsided by change and help stay relevant:
- Get involved in your industry
- Attend conferences
- Send your employees to conferences
- Hire an advisor who can research what is happening in your marketplace and report back and offer suggestions
- Put together a board of advisors from different industries and different fields
- Look at where your top talent is going and why
Be prepared. Don’t let the future surprise you. You have worked hard to get where you are. Keep looking forward. The Hofstetter Group can help you plan for disruption by having you and your employees prepared for what’s coming. We can do the research and provide alternatives for you to move forward.
Let me know how are you staying relevant?