Winners and losers in the "New Normal" economy: The top 10 differences
How is it that companies that have been around for more than 100 years failed in this economic downturn while other younger companies like Apple, Facebook, WalMart and The Huffington Post continued to grow? It is a similar picture for many lesser-known, mid-sized companies: some have failed and others have thrived, regardless of their industry, size or location.
It is the best of times and the worst of times. Too many businesses are reacting in fear, pulling back and struggling. There are 10 key differences between a thriving company and a floundering one in this economy. Ask yourself, are you:
Sticking to your industry or crossing the boundaries?
The struggling businesses spend a lot of time try to copy the "big guys" in their industry and wonder why this approach does not work for them. Successful businesses seem to ignore the big guys and focus on current and prospective customers. When probed further it was found that many of these successful businesses are finding opportunities at the overlap of two or more industries. These businesses try to follow the example of companies like Cirque Du Soleil who combined elements of both the circus and theatre industries in better venues than the average circus.
Is your company looking for opportunities at the boundaries of your industry?
Focusing on economists or customers?
Embattled businesses seem to be consumed by watching and reading about bad economic news trying to understand the mind of economists. The successful businesses seldom have time to watch TV or read a newspaper. It does not mean they don't hear the bad news; it is everywhere. They just don't dwell on it. They are busy watching and reading about their customers and going to customer events, customer trade shows and customer seminars to better understand their mind of the customer.
When did you last did you go to a customer trade show or event rather than events for your industry?
Focusing on price or value?
We all know stories of airline passengers paying 10 times the price of other passengers. This approach works in many industries. Service can be escalated based on value and delivered to some clients who would pay ten times as much for the added value. The struggling businesses are stuck in commodity-type situations with very little price flexibility. The successful businesses find ways to get price control and avoid competition because they are better at articulating their value and using different ways to price their services.
How much control do you have over your pricing?