ADAPT OR DIE
The world of technology is changing faster than ever, and traditional businesses are having trouble keeping up with the pace. If you're a brick-and-mortar retailer, perhaps nothing is more ominous than online sales and Amazon.
But smart business owners and managers shouldn't be concerned. Instead, they should embrace change and find creative ways to expand. Why not find a way to sell their products on Amazon? The exponential rate of technological advancement poses more opportunities than ever before.
And we have a topical example in this country and it is to do with the broadcasting of live sport.
Finally, Sky TV has some competition in the New Zealand live sport broadcasting stakes.
Last week, Spark Sport announced its more than reasonably priced package for streaming the 2019 Rugby World Cup. And with the NBA, hockey, English Premier League and Formula One motorsport also on its sporting smorgasbord, the race is on to be this country’s premier sports broadcasting provider.
Spark Sport seek further inroads to the market, with Spark's executive lead for sport, David Chalmers, quoted as saying, "We picked a name that clearly demonstrates our ambition both to help Kiwis get the most out of technology and to deliver them a better sport experience - with the freedom and flexibility to watch sport the way they want to watch, at a time that suits them."
Live streaming isn't everyone's cup of tea. Younger generations who have grown up or adjusted to watching almost everything via a laptop or phone are at home following the NFL or MLB on a smaller screen and for a smaller fee (zero being the smallest) but older sports fans prefer their product on the large lounge flat screen and, even if they have a smart TV, may not have the desire nor the knowledge to transfer streaming to screening.
But Sky’s mistake has been to stick what it has done for the past 29 years, believing that they have achieved success with their current model, and if they continue with that, then everything will turn out all right.
How many of us can relate to that with our businesses?
How has Sky’s model changed over time? How have they tried to engage with technology?
Sure they have SkyGo, which you have to be a sky customer to get access to, and they have had their fan pass packages. But their model has revolved around their customers being forced to buy other packages to gain access to the sport channels. With all these lumped together it has proven to be a much too expensive product for the majority of New Zealanders.
And along comes Spark to ruffle a few feathers.
Now let’s relate this issue of adapting to the market and the general environment to other businesses.
Service businesses should look at creating branded products to sell online. Imagine extending your brand to Amazon in a totally new way. You could leverage your expertise and tap into new revenue streams. You could also sell your product alongside your services, which means more profit and more brand power. It's important to try new things and adopt new technologies. If your company isn't looking for ways to get in front of new audiences, be afraid for its longevity.
Look to the examples of some of the most adaptable business. IBM has stayed relevant in different markets from hardware to software and has expanded its line of products, as well as its selling platform, dozens of times. Google and Facebook have been investing heavily in upcoming technologies like virtual reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
If you're a business owner or manager, look for ways to get more eyes on your product, service and brand. The more you can test and adapt, the better success you'll have as technology changes. Ultimately, being more prepared for faster and faster change is necessary for entrepreneurs and managers. If you're not learning, you're losing.
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