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Fast and getting faster: rapid change in business

There are very few categories of business that are not being forced to change more and more rapidly.. This very newspaper is a great example of a business that is changing rapidly having introduced a host of digital platforms, advertising and work practices in recent years.

 

Sometimes we are the bringers of this change. When in control of the change it stands to reason it is easier to cope with. We all know business owners who travel regularly visit trade shows and bring new ideas into their marketplace. These business owners and their business are easy to identify. They are bright eyed and alert whenever anyone is discussing areas of improvement or ideas to innovate their business. They are inquisitive and monitor their environment keenly.

 

This mindset is one that we all have to learn and adopt if we are to survive. The world around us is changing at an increasing rate, we all acknowledge (and lament) this. The ability to capture and use data, the creation of software to leverage this data, the insights we can create and the decisions we can more accurately make more quickly via digital business tools is available to all of us at a very reasonable price.

 

Businesses that learn to change more rapidly will lead their industries and remain in front of most detrimental changes being forced upon them. Perhaps most importantly the very ability to change at all is the single most important skill a business needs today to survive and thrive. But how do you learn this? I think the Chinese got it right with their saying that “the skill to do comes from doing”.

 

We can also turn to the great Jack Welch for his wisdom to motivate us to start changing more aggressively. He says “if the rate of change outside your business exceeds the rate of change within it then your days are numbered”. Your homework must be to learn what the rate of change is outside your business. Monitor competitors, talk to customers and learn what it is your competitors offer your customers that could have them consider a change.

 

Monitoring competitors has never been easier. Go to Google and search for Google Alerts so you can set up automatic alerts on your industry and each of your top 5 competitors.  Then do a Google search on the top four or five phrases you think people use to find your business. This will give you a broader set of competitors to monitor than just this top 5. Set an alert for the top 5 online-only competitors or even substitutes that might start to compete with you.

 

Google alerts then arrive daily or weekly and in a month you will be more informed and instantly aware of happenings in your industry both here, overseas and as it relates directly to your competitors. This will forearm you and forwarn you for the changes you need to be doing in your business to remain competitive and ultimately to ensure you have a business in the years ahead.

 

Mark Jones is the Managing Director of Your Digital Solution. A specialist business Strategy, Marketing and Technology consultancy in Brisbane. www.yourdigitalsolution.com.au