One of the biggest keys to success in business is successful and careful planning. Ultimately the market, the industry and your organisation are going to change countless times over your organisation’s lifespan and if you don’t have plans in place to help you cope with those changes then your business won’t last. In many ways the winners in business will often be dictated simply by who is the most prepared.
The trick then is to ensure that you aren’t waiting for bad things to happen before you come up with your plans. Rather you should choose a time when everything is running like clockwork and then use this to think hypothetically about what you would do in the worst case scenarios or during the more difficult challenges for your business. Occasionally a little pessimism can be a very useful trait.
So what kinds of doomsday/slightly tricky scenarios am I talking about? How do you prepare for these unexpected scenarios? Read on and let’s take a look…
What would you do if a new competitor were to enter the marketplace tomorrow with a product or service identical to yours in every way except also slightly cheaper and slightly better? Perhaps they deliver it more quickly while also saving money on packaging… what do you do then?
One option may be to eat into your margins slightly in order to beat their price. This option could work but if they retaliate you can end up pricing each other out of the market. Another strategy may be to set yourself apart in some way and to differentiate yourself from the competition. This might mean purposefully keeping your product more expensive in order to offer the ‘premium’ or ‘luxury’ brand. Alternatively it might mean identifying a particular portion of your market and targeting them specifically. Or then again you might want to find a way that you and the new blood could work together.
Much worse than that though would be becoming obsolete. Like those poor photo developing companies… what do you do when a technology comes along and makes your product or service meaningless? Again you have options. Either you can choose to adapt to the new technology (so you need to keep an eye on what those businesses are doing) or you can choose to branch out into some new area of the market. You could even be purposefully ‘traditional’ to appeal to those who don’t like change. Though with a smaller market you may need to find ways to lower your operating costs.
Here’s another doomsday scenario to imagine. What would you do if your company was have its reputation badly tarnished – perhaps someone buys your product and chokes on it, or your service is used by a client that goes on to break the law. What do you do then?
This is the sort of occasion when a kind of rebranding can be useful and powerful. Make sure you have plans for how you might reimagine yourself if you ever had to, and that you can execute this strategy quickly if necessary. Having a PR department could also be useful if this is a high risk.
Moving Office or Commercial Property
There may well come a time when you move your company by choice or necessity. What do you do when you have to leave and how do you keep running your organisation and making profit? Making sure your staff can work flexibly when possible is one solution – remote work arrangements can work in your favour so consider investing in cloud technologies. Likewise you should look into how you would move and keep the numbers of moving companies. You may also need specific moving companies such as machinery movers depending on your industry. Do the research now and be ready to execute the plan efficiently when it is needed!
About the Author: Today’s featured writer, Nolan Fernandes, is a part of the team at Halbert Brothers Inc, a company that provides machinery moving services. He owns a fantastic toolkit and uses it to do restoration work in his spare time.
Knowing your competitors helps so much with making adjustments to pricing. Sometimes prices need to be adjusted due to factors such as a rise in production costs and materials, or a spike in energy costs. Knowing generally where your competitors are in line with what you have to offer can help you to tailor your pricing so that it is effective enough to keep your current customers while persuasive enough to attract new ones.
I agree – benchmarking with your competitors is one of the ways to measure your effectiveness and help you devising better contingency plan for your business.