Summary: Staying relevant should be the priority for the entire organization and not just one function, product, or service. Those that understand this stay in business while others fade into the sunset.
Since the foundation of growth and success for every business is staying relevant to their consumers, companies always try to focus on it. However, over the past few years, the dynamics of business have changed. Earlier, once established, companies used to worry about the changes that will make them irrelevant. Today, these changes take place over months or every couple of years.
A recent example that tested the relevance of companies across the globe is COVID-19. Small or large, companies of all the scales were tested at a short notice to operate in a virtual model and pivot their businesses. Companies like Amazon had inherent agility built into their business to utilize the moment of disruption. And this is why they sustained. But many startup businesses failed to even sustain themselves for the first few weeks and collapsed.
At the pace the world is changing, companies can no longer stay glued to familiarity. Entrepreneurs must learn that transformation is not an endgame. So, it is critical to provide value to their customers at all costs.
Here is a ‘Formula of Four’ that can position your startup businesses in a better place than others to stay in the game no matter what:
1. Customer is the Only King
To embrace a customer-driven approach is not an option, but imperative for companies. Making it an obsession to value customers can be the ultimate key to success. By placing the customer at the center, startup business can prioritize their activities with ease, pivot quickly when needed, and optimize their products and services.
For instance, the ideology of Airbnb`s- create a world where anyone can belong anywhere- is the major driving force behind the strategy in the customer service, product development, recruitment, and the markets that they explore.
2. Innovate or Die
Conventional business practices and processes are passé. It is time to embrace an inclusive approach that looks from the customer`s point of view and then translates it into a product or a service. Creating exceptional customer value is the need of the hour. To reach this stage, you must understand the broader context and the driving forces behind the change.
For example, Adobe, when moved to a cloud-based subscription model their revenue dropped initially, but later registered much higher growth than before.
3. Reinvent Yourself
Once established, startup business should keep reinventing themselves. Self-disruption helps to embrace the future by building an organization that is constantly becoming better with each passing day. However, it also challenges entrepreneurs in more than one way. It puts more emphasis on progression than on perfection, on learning than knowledge and founders have to reimagine conventional ways of thinking, working, and executing. If you want to make your startup business a winning company, think without fear. Winning organizations are unafraid to disrupt themselves.
4. Learn From Failures
Self-disruption is not for the weak-hearted. It is easier said than done and involves great risks. Failing small and building big on success, taking calculated risks and small bets, and encouraging it as an organization-wide culture is vital to stay relevant in the business world.
Hence, learning from failures and to keep exploring multiple small ideas is the key to becoming a successful small business.
In these challenging times, staying relevant is a constant journey of inventing, reinventing, and not about landing with a perfect solution. And this should be the quest for the entire organization and not just one specific branch or hierarchy.
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