Transforming your business can mean different things to different organizations, based on their current situation. It can be a strong company that is trying to get better, or it could be a company that is struggling and has to get better. Changing the trajectory of your business while protecting your core business has its own set of challenges in either scenario.
With the rate and pace of change in technology, market conditions and client expectations, organizations can no longer just wait for things to improve on their own.
The need for strategic growth is usually the driver for business transformation. The change can come through a change in leadership, changes to the product and technology offerings, or a new perspective on which markets to pursue.
Capital investment in new technology and replacing older equipment can provide a competitive advantage in your existing and new markets. Those opportunities are often looked at to maintain existing business. The growth opportunity comes by getting deeper and wider within your current customer base through the new services offered, as well as by entering new markets. Do your homework first, as the “build it and they will come” philosophy can be problematic in these changing times.
Any time that we’re faced with an economic or health crisis, we can expect changes to the customer base. Some customer business models will thrive while others will struggle to stay afloat. You may also find that businesses that were not appealing prior to the crisis, now make sense to call on.
A good customer evaluation exercise will help you determine what your current portfolio looks like. Based on those results, you can identify the gaps and have a good understanding of customers that may need to be replaced as well as those that you’ll want to expand.
Company loyalty and length of service from your team is extremely important to any business. However, relevancy and the ability to contribute will be critical to the success of your transformation process.
Evaluate whether you have the right skill sets on your team that will enable you to reach the next level of strategic growth. Don’t let yourself become the victim here. In 10 years you don’t want to be saying “we could’ve been a really cool company if our employees had only let us.”
As the business continues on, some firms also have opportunities to build succession plans for the next generation of leadership. It’s never too early to begin that process as it will take longer than you think. Bringing in fresh ideas and asking, “why are we still doing that” questions are good things.
Your business did not get where it is overnight, and the transformation process will not happen overnight. You’ll need patience and a plan. As you determine your best next steps, it will be important to protect and nurture your core business along the way. Your existing business will be paying the way, and buying you time to make the transformative changes that you’ll need for strategic growth.
It’s important that you have a clear picture of where you want to go, a map of how to get there and engage your team to make it happen. Don’t try to do it all by yourself — tap into the network that you have developed and can trust to help make the best and most timely decisions. If you have any comments or thoughts as to how you’ve approached these issues, please send me a note or include them below.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at email@example.com.
This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.