“The definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”- A. Einstein
Many small business owners embrace this type of insanity every single day. They take this approach to their work and constantly do the same things hoping it will all somehow get better. Unfortunately, Einstein was right and it never does change.
Business tradition can be comfortable and easy. In fact for many big brands, it is their competitive advantage. However for many small business owners, it can also be what kills their company.
Here are four times tradition needs to be left behind:
- Revenue is shrinking quickly quarter to quarter. For whatever reason, sales are going straight down. No need to panic, but clearly the way things have been in the past do not work now. Try this instead: Find out which products no longer are selling and specifically why this is happening from customers that typically bought them in the past. This is the beginning of crude marketing research that needs to be done.
- Current customers are leaving at an increasing rate. Existing customers have quit the company and have gone to a competitor. The once high barrier to exit the business has been breached. Try this instead: Poll exiting customers why they are leaving and formulate a profitable “save” strategy based on added value (not lower prices).
- There is a new competitor in the market. Someone has decided to directly compete with the company. Try this instead: Find out what is attractive to the potential customer about their new solution or market approach. Are there changes that can be made to your company’s offerings as a response? Can they be copied?
- The market has been disrupted. This can happen with a competitor, a new technology or a changed government regulation. Regardless, the traditional way of doing business no longer applies. Try this instead: Focus on the pain and those prospects that have the money to solve it. Given this market disruption, what has to change about your company’s products and go to market strategy?
Remember the wrong action is better than no action at all. With any action, things can always be learned about what may yield success next time. Test as many things as possible in the shortest period of time with the least amount of resources. As you move away from tradition, making a lot small bets will help you securely move to whatever comes next.
Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He is a small business speaker, author and consultant. He can be found at www.barrymoltz.com