Monday, November 2, 2015

Avoid business strutting

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     You believe in your business. You know every aspect of what you do. You know where you are headed. You will not deviate from your plan because you are convinced that your plan is best and will get you where you want to go. 

     Careful. Strutting your own stuff in your business can be dangerous. It's one thing to believe in yourself, but it's another to turn a blind eye to what's happening around you.

     The marketplace is continually changing. Technology is continually changing. How you attract your clients and customers is continually changing. Effective promotional tools change. Strutting your business stuff must change as well. 

     Example: Mika designs handbags. She began her business because of her interest in leather as a fashion accessory for women. Mika's business made a splash in the industry--magazines devoted spreads to her leather handbag designs. Television shows brought her in for interviews. Then came attacks by animal rights activists who were opposed to leather. Suddenly, no one in the media called Mika. Her free media splash ended, and sales plunged. Mika was hard-headed and persisted with her leather bags. Today, she is struggling, but she is still strutting her original business model--designing handbags entirely made of leather. 

     Example: Sara also designs handbags. She uses leather and many additional materials--colorful plastics, natural bamboo, woven fiber materials including even glass fiber. Sara keeps a sharp eye on the marketplace. Her business plan includes several lines of handbags--different materials, different sizes and uses. She insists on top quality production, both with the handbags produced in-house and those under contract production elsewhere. When sales of leather bags went through a down period, Sara shifted with the market demands. She regularly contacts her retail partners to obtain their inputs, and she closely follows fashion industry trends. She has even used inputs from focus groups. Her business strutting is solidly grounded in the marketplace demands--not her business plan which gets updated regularly.

     Think of driving to the Grand Canyon. Alternate routes are everywhere. Different roads can get you there. You plan your route, but encounter inviting side trips, and these can alter your overall plan. 

     Business strutting occurs when you become a slave to your business plan. Business plans change as the world changes. Avoid business strutting. 

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