Might seem obvious but ask yourself and more importantly your clients some initial questions…..
What is our biggest seller?
What do our customers come to us for?
What do we do better than anyone?
If you don’t know the answer to these (which many businesses won’t) then it’s time to do some digging to understand what your business really does.
Speak to you customers to understand why they buy from you; product, price, service or something else? You may have to accept that people are buying from you for different reasons than you envisaged when you set things up.
This isn’t a bad thing, industries evolve, trends change and disruptors come along and shake things up. One thing you must do as a business is evolve; there is a long list of businesses that have failed after not moving with the times. These include household names such as HMV (couldn’t adapt to online challenges), Nokia (didn’t adapt to the changing use of mobiles and smartphones), BHS (couldn’t adapt to omni-channel retail and changing high street trends).
To ensure that you remain relevant you need to understand why you are still in business:
Service – do you have a reputation for being relied on and delivering at any cost?
Price – are you the cheapest or have you created a premium image by being expensive?
Product – do you supply something no-one else does or can?
How do you achieve this?
Ask questions and put yourself in the mindset of your customers.
Once you identify what you really do then you can ensure your business is in a position to deliver. This can get scary because it’s around now that you may need to transform.
A Note about Transformation:
- Transformation should not be a scary process but something that is exciting and embraced, the key to success is understanding transformation means change and people fear change;
- Therefore you need to communicate with your staff, customers and stakeholders;
- Generally you do not need to change too much too quickly, only if your business is failing should this be an option;
- Do not lose sight of your revenue stream as you transform.
The key to all of this is your customers, understand them and what they want then meet their needs. Are they suggesting product developments? Something that is missing? Ask and reward.
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