Beating the Business Survival Odds

Tomorrow's businessWhat are your odds for business survival? When tomorrow comes, will you have a solid customer base,  or will you be left behind?

Crazy change is the norm for business. Our favorite cookies or soups might be the hot items today, and be off the shelves tomorrow. Log into Facebook, and the options have changed since last night. So we try new cookies, learn to like new soups and click mindlessly until we figure out, at least for now, how to get Facebook to do what we want.

So what can we do in business not only to keep up with, but to actually capitalize on this crazy rate of change? How can we pull off the business equivalent of a judo move, and turn the attack to our advantage?

Anticipate change. Our customers are on a wild roller coaster ride into tomorrow, Our job is not to try and catch the roller coaster, bur rather to see where the track is going, go off track, take a shortcut and be ready to meet our customers in the future.

Watch the big businesses. They have huge investments in predicting the market. Business survival is the name of their game. Wendy’s and McDonalds are redecorating for an older crowd. Walmart and Target added food. Use big business trends to spot opportunities. Small businesses can adapt overnight, if necessary, and catch market changes predicted by the big corporations.

Why are customers buying? Not what, but why. Be on the lookout – the real product might not be what it seems. You think you’re selling the “what,” they’re buying the “why.” Start aiming for “why.”

A Keurig can make a great cup of coffee, yet Starbucks is bustling. Why? Their product isn’t coffee. They’re offering a neutral meeting place for informal business meetings. They’re providing a small luxury for those seeking a quick reward. They’re giving an excuse to spend time with someone you’re interested in, to see if the interest is mutual. They’re selling an experience, a few moments of decadent leisure.

Customers buy on emotion. They buy comfort, they buy excitement. They buy to reaffirm who they are – a sophisticate, or a “regular guy.” They buy to fit their image – the casual entrepreneur, the hot – shot, the suburban mother, the elder statesman.

Change is emotional. Use it. We are living with constant change. Change is emotional. And every change brings new opportunities for the innovative business.

Take a look into the future. Where are your customers headed? What will they want? How can you satisfy their needs? How can you align with their emotions?

Change is emotional. And emotion produces new opportunities to grow business. Think strategically. Be a business survivor.

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