In today’s non-stop market and seemingly faster-than-the-speed-of-light industry changes, new businesses rise faster than baked goods and the name of the game is: competition. Even though business rivalries can be stressful for business owners and executive boards, the truth is that a healthy competitive environment is good for customers, innovation, and for the future. Newcomers with out-of-the-box ideas can truly disrupt an entire industry, making a specific experience not only better, but maybe even world-changing. So how can you be prepared to face competition in an ever-changing environment in 2019? Technology.
- Go digital, or go home: we will talk about this until we’re blue in the face without a problem (after all, blue is our color), but without digital transformation, there’s no possible scenario for a business to thrive long-term. Digitization is not a phase, it’s not a trend, and it’s not a fad. It’s legitimately the only path to some semblance of longevity, and even if your ultimate goal is to sell your business, the only to show profitability and scalability is with a fully fleshed out digital strategy. Being an industry giant doesn’t guarantee success either, because anyone with an idea to improve an existing service and some capital can knock you off your podium. If you’re a bank, credit union, financial firm, or any sort of business that deals with people’s money, having any sort of delay in the customer service journey can be pretty catastrophic and as the kids say these days, “you’re cancelled.” Through strategies like intelligent process automation, you can ensure your company is responsive to the customer experience across the board so that you can tackle challenges in real-time, and be scalable on short-notice. Remember that time we showed you what would happen if Santa used technology during the holidays? Same concept.
- Adapt, or fade away: coming up for one genius idea for a product or service can get you 15 minutes of fame, but there’s only one way to achieve longevity as a business: listening. For better or for worse, customers are quick to change their minds, and sometimes it’s a generational thing. For example, an industry that is not delivering numbers at the moment is the diamond industry, particularly for engagement rings. There are a few main reasons for the decline in sales of diamonds:
- The current generation holding the spending power (millennials) is struggling to achieve financial stability, and therefore a diamond is a luxury they can’t afford.
- The information of diamond sourcing has become widely available, and people who are conscious of world issues like “blood diamonds” are boycotting the industry and demanding an ethical source.
- Millennials are also getting married later on (or not at all), causing an all-time low on projected diamond sales as compared to other generations.
How would technology help in this scenario? Two particular ways: through the use of big data, you could analyze patterns and predict expected sales, as to not buy an excessive supply and two, you can completely rebrand and change your business to adapt to the demand, as is the case with lab-grown diamonds, which look just as good as the mined ones but are ethically created at a fraction of the price. Adaptability through technology is key.
- Work smart, not hard: today’s workforce is highly enticed by jobs where they feel they make a difference, add value, and grow from their experience. Having your employees do mindless, menial tasks is not only a waste of your money, but also decreases employee morale and causes a high turnover. Take advantage of technology like intelligent virtual assistants that can complete those repetitive tasks and place your employees in areas of your company that explore their strengths. Grow your workforce (through bots and AI) without having to increase the salary bucket! This also creates loyal employees that won’t go to the competition and spill all your secrets.
Being competitive in our current market is not hard. All it takes is the right technology for both you and your customers, and the right partner to walk alongside you on the journey to optimize your services and experiences with innovation and room for growth, at any rate.