How do you know when it's time to adapt to a new way of working?
Change is inevitable. Not only in life, but in business too.
Businesses that changed their business model used to be viewed as innovative and dynamic.
Now, thanks to a host of ongoing changes and challenges, being adaptive has become less ground-breaking than it is essential.
In order for your business to survive and thrive, you need to be identifying important changes—and then moving to respond to them.
Identify important changes
Sometimes, changes can appear on the horizon and you understand and appreciate that they will only result in temporary disruption.
Other changes cause more seismic shifts.
The global pandemic has succeeded in pointing out that we are indeed in the middle of a technological revolution.
In the past few decades, transformative changes have often had a technological flavour; from horses to cars, from coal to gas, or from letters to email. However, what we are experiencing now touches every part of our lives.
Digitisation and the rise of social media, among other trends, have totally transformed the way that firms interact with their target audiences.
Businesses need to analyse and address how they will adapt to these changes:
Monitor what your competitors are doing. What is working well for them? What market segments are they focused on? What products or services are they launching?
Analyse your customers’ behaviour. Are there clues to changing ideals? Which customers are staying loyal and which might stray?
Keep up to date on industry reports.
Record what your own data and experiences are telling you.
Make plans for change
Don’t spend too long analysing. Action is required. You’ll want to plan strategically and communicate fully.
Your current business model will likely influence your future model in some ways, though it will be adapted for the technological shifts the business faces.
Some of your plans may require team members to re-skill. Some plans may require collaboration with others or the outsourcing of work.
It’s feasible that your plans may require considerable investment—especially in new technologies such as AI and automation, so it’s worth having a handle on what you can afford to invest.
Research shows that the most successful companies not only invest more than their peers in new opportunities, but also put their eggs in fewer baskets.
Prepare properly during periods of change
With any technological developments, try to prepare for the security aspects that may be required to run alongside them.
79% of organisations were hurt by their lack of cyber preparedness.
A cyber-attack can see your valuable files copied, altered or destroyed, and the resulting damage to your business could be hard to recover from.
Likewise, if you are outsourcing any of your work, prepare for what may happen if there are delays outside of your control.
Ensure you have thoroughly researched the credentials of anyone you are affiliated with, and consider what ‘back up plans’ you may require.
What happens if you don’t adapt and change?
In the animal kingdom, survival isn’t necessarily about being the best in the game, it’s about being the quickest to adapt to change.
The business world has a lot of parallels. You don’t want your competitors seizing an advantage.
Organisations not investing in AI and automation can expect, over time, for their cost base to be relatively higher than their AI investing competitors.
Realistically, your customers—and indeed your workforce—are going to gravitate to where their needs are met.
Without adapting, you risk being left behind.
Customers want 24/7 access to a company and to be able to communicate on their own terms.
67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. The more customers get used to this kind of service in other areas, the sooner they will come to expect it from you.
And with 90% of companies now planning to deploy AI within 3 years, you can’t avoid the direction we’re going in…
The benefits of adapting your business model
If you do adapt your business model, there could be short term and long-term improvements to the processes in your business.
Ultimately, you will be streamlining and saving unnecessary expense.
Most importantly, you will be securing your most important asset—your customers.
Will you adapt your business model?
It’s a personal and complex decision to adapt a business model.
Given the outcome uncertainty, you are unlikely to change your business model unless you have a really strong incentive to do so.
Mind you, ‘survival’ is a pretty good incentive…