Recently, I was observing how life has changed right before our eyes over the years without us even noticing it. For example, instead of opening up the front door every morning to reach down for the newspaper many of us now go to the internet to read the morning headlines. There use to be at least two daily newspapers in most major cities. Now many cities have only one newspaper with a dwindling reader circulation and the focus is on the 24 hour cable news cycle. Whatever business you’re in, don’t let this happen to your company. Otherwise, you’ll become like a dinosaur – extinct! To succeed in business, long term, it’s necessary to adapt to a changing world.
The times are always changing, whether you realize it or not. Your company must change with the times. Take it one step further… In fact, anticipate the changes to remain in business with a profitable yearly margin.
For example,Sears continues to announce plans to close stores across the country. Maybe even a store near you. Millions of people grew up with anticipation about the Sears catalog each time a new edition was published. In fact, Sears was founded as a mail-order company. How many catalogs do you receive now-a-days in the mail? It’s become an environmental issue, a cost factor and everyday more customers shop online than through the traditional catalogs or even brick-and-mortar stores.
Yet with Sears, it’s more than just a catalog. Sears use to be a major force in retailing. The family shopped at Sears (then Sears, Roebuck & Co.) for tools, appliances, tires and Diehard batteries; even clothes and much more for the home. Now Sears struggles with company identity.
Sears is in financial trouble for four reasons:
1) Product: As I just mentioned, Sears doesn’t know who they are as a company any longer. It shows in the merchandise mix. The consumer has changed where they buy and how they buy.
2) The stores: They need to visually update and remodel stores to compete in today’s marketplace. Do you find Sears stores welcoming? Without the investment, Sears is losing the customer.
3) Customer service: This is the age of the customer. Especially in today’s fast retail environment. Yet Sears has lost the service edge in their stores. Customer service is entering a new era due to the internet and social media.
4) Marketing: In the 80’s, Sears commercials featured the slogan, There’s More For Your Life At Sears. When was the last time you saw a memorable Sears ad? Or any ads at all?
History repeats itself. Does anybody remember Circuit City, Woolworths or Gimbels, to name a few?
Today’s post features what has happened to Sears. But names of corporate giants like Hostess (bakers of Twinkies), Kodak and Blackberry now are speculated about. Will the companies still exist in a few years? Only time will tell. We live in a quickly changing world.
There was a famous Sears commercial with a theme you may remember from decades past: Come See the Softer Side of Sears.
How does this apply to your business?
As a CEO, president or business owner, you want to make sure your business doesn’t become a dinosaur. That everything you’ve worked for isn’t lost because you weren’t changing with the times.
It’s not change for the sake of change (that’s a whole different story and business subject).
The key is to be aware of changes and shifts happening before they impact your business. Before your business loses momentum. Before you ask yourself: How did that happen?
Will customers still buy from your company tomorrow?
Or will it be like other companies who find themselves questioning where all of their customers have gone?
In business, you can’t think that the business model you’re using today will still be just as effective tomorrow for continued business success. Nothing lasts forever especially in an ever changing marketplace.
No matter what, time will fly by, as will the profits, if you are not nurturing your business, motivating employees and taking care of your customers.
Just like Sears, once you lose momentum, it’s hard to get it back again. There’s always a competitor nipping at your heels ready to take your business away which means taking your profits away.
Every day you have to look at it like it’s the first day of starting your business and ask yourself:
Are we doing what we need to run a successful profitable business?
Let’s look at what is positive and keep it going; let’s look at what is not working and make the necessary changes.
Successful CEOs, presidents and business owners adapt their business to the economic conditions and the needs of the customer. If you don’t adapt you won’t have the business success you want.
To your success!
Howard Lewinter guides – focuses – advises CEOs, presidents and business owners throughout the United States to MORE success – MORE profit – less stress. Get MORE from your business! Talk with Howard: 888-738-1855.