06 January 201, by A. Cedilla
It’s great when you’ve reached the point that you can step back and take a proud look at what you’ve accomplished. A stable business, balance (or as close to it as possible), and a steady flow of income that you can rely on…oh, happy day!
Well, here we are to pop your bubble of contentment — and help you brace supportive structures under your realized dreams.
Nothing stays the same forever.
Nothing stays the same for very long, either.
Inner and outer forces (and factors) work together in unplanned — read: random — ways that can set you far off from where you started, or planned to go.
But if you managed to follow through on your important goals, then there will come a point when you realize that in certain areas, you’ve reached a plateau, and if these areas are important to you, you can’t leave their eventual slide into entropy to chance. You need to move before things slide, think ahead of the curve.
But then how would you know? How can you tell when you’ve reached that point, or are about to?
Here are the first 4 of 8 indicators to show you when you need to make a change in your business.
1) When you can’t go any further to adapt to the market as you’ve exhausted the potential of your product.
Technological innovations and breakthroughs drive changes. Remember Betamax tapes? Or those plate-sized laser discs? What about the Walk-man? They were The Next Big Thing in their time, and fossils in ours.
There are, of course, companies that produce the craziest things and make money from them (if yours is one of them, good for you for finding your niche) but as a rule, you can’t rest on your laurels.
You have to adapt, or die. Victorinox doesn’t make knives alone, and Sony didn’t stick with the original Walkman, just so you’d know.
2) When there’s a noticeable slowdown in consumer demand.
When you invest in an excellent tracking and record system, you’ll be able to see the signs of a healthy market for your product where you’re selling it.
Your records should be one of your greatest tools in tracking the market. The soonest you see sales dropping in one area or on one product, the soonest you can investigate why and address the issue.
Maybe a competitor tweaked their product, maybe there’s a recall on a similar product and yours just got tagged because the name is similar. You don’t know, but you can find out — and make the necessary adjustments
3) Finding an unexpected niche in your market.
Think about it. When Betamax and VHS began to die out, a new service of VHS-to-CD conversion popped up. Then moved on to all sorts of analog-to-digital services and tools. All the memories hidden in the attic or boxed in the basement can now be stored and viewed using current technology.
Change also opens up new avenues for exploration. The companies who didn’t change with the times got left behind, and the ones who leapt to take advantage of what, on the surface, seemed like a loss, took it and made a success out of the mess.
4) When your customers keep asking for a particular feature.
Listen to your market, and keep your ears close to the ground, because if your customers can’t get what they want from you, they’ll go to someone who can give it to them. It’s their money, for starters. In providing your service, you’re trying to make their money yours.
Of course, an excellent product will speak for itself, but it definitely adds to the bottom line to bring your market’s evolving needs into consideration.
The customers know what they need, and your business’s success depends on answering those needs.
The questions are: can you answer their needs without compromising product quality and/or support, and are you willing to?
Plus, are you willing to deal with the aftermath, either way?
Part 2 of this article is already in the works, but in the meantime, kindly take a few moments to grok these 4 signs.
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