Avoid Complacency in Your Business
This week Tesco announced losses and once again commentators said that Tesco’s problems are mainly because they had stopped innovating, they had become complacent.
How can you avoid complacency?
Don’t take your foot off the gas! Many businesses get ahead of the competition. They are do well and sales are good. However the competition is always looking to step in. If a business thinks that it is well ahead and relaxes it can soon be caught up and passed. You should never underestimate your competitors. It is easier for them to copy than innovate and they can then tweak the copy to become better.
Always innovate. Keep brainstorming and inventing and try out new ideas. Spending time and money on R&D (research and development) is money that should not be subject to a budget cut just because some ideas don’t work out. In anything that is new some projects won’t work but you have to have failures to get successes. It’s impossible to only invent things that will be successful, if you are going to be different and better than anyone else.
Many successful businesses have a policy of rewarding staff for suggestions. The frontline staff often have a better idea of what customers want and which way the market is going. Take time to listen to them, no matter how much you might initially find what they say makes uncomfortable listening. It’s true to say that most businesses owners don’t like to hear that their business might have weaknesses in their customers eyes. To avoid complacency we have to be realistic and note that markets change and our business might not be viewed by our customers as it once was.
Once you know that change is needed then make those changes as fast as you can. Speed of innovation is vital because quite likely someone else has also noticed the opportunity and you don’t want them to get there first.
When it comes to your business, how do you avoid complacency?