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Look to the Future NOT the Past

I often blog about change ... the speed of change, the fact that everything is changing and the fact that change means opportunity.

Very recently I blogged about Changing Businesses, and looked at some of the recent industries undergoing major change. I am firmly in the camp that our world is changing so radically that looking to the past can be a recipe for disaster when determining successful strategies for the future.

The business world is littered with companies that just did not see the steamroller coming! A steady decline in revenues during the recession is normal, and in the past things have always picked up after recessions ... but has anything happened in your space since that last recession?

Has the speed of technology adoption increased ... because clients needed to make decisions during the recession?

Has offshore production picked up because the recession forced companies to do EVEN more with EVEN less?

Has low price competition entered your space and undermined your ability to differentiate?

Is your service even needed any more?

Big box stores put a lot of local businesses "out of business" ... yet many thought their local presence, contacts, established position in the market would have saved them!

Internet travel sites have certainly taken a bite out of that industry ... happened pretty fast too.

If you are not keeping abreast of trends in your industry, not understanding where it is going and innovating in order to compete ... then you are on thin ice.

Experience helps us to do a better job ... but if we put blinkers on when we apply that experience it gets us into big trouble. What worked yesterday will NOT work tomorrow!

Some thoughts if you are in business:

1. Attend industry meetings/conferences/conventions to understand what is really going on.
2. Read industry papers, publications, blogs etc to keep up.
3. Talk to people from other industries to understand how lessons from there might help you.
4. Be honest with yourself ... don't put those blinkers on!
5. Don't get so immersed in the "day to day" that you ignore the big picture.

Bottom line ... CHANGE BRINGS OPPORTUNITY. If you had what it took to start a business in the first place, then you are going to need some of that same stuff to reinvent your business.

Good luck ... its tough out there.