Why Your Business Won’t Exist In 2014

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Awww, the infamous words of Ferris Bueller. Ferris had a point though, not just in life, but in business. Successful tech companies are moving quickly to stay on top of changing trends.

If you aren’t doing what it takes to be a progressive, you face extinction.

Here are five reasons your company may not survive the next few years:

1.        You are still avoiding social media.

If you’ve been hiding from social media it’s now time to suck it up and embrace it. It’s kind of  like broccoli, exercise, and visits to the dentist. Sure you can avoid them, but can you live to your full potential without them? Not really. Neither can your business when it comes to social media.

Social media is not a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in communication and should be an extension of existing communications.  Facebook has 800 million users; Twitter, 300 million; and LinkedIn, 100 million. Do those numbers include you? Get connected or risk extinction.

2.        You aren’t listening to your customers.

If your customers are constantly telling you that they are moving away from one method of using technology to another, chances are you need to adapt your strategy to that new method.

In the new battle for customer attention, customers don’t want to be marketed to or sold to.

Customer insight is predicted to be the next big  B2B marketing trend. If you don’t know what your customers want, it’s time to ask.

 3.        You’ve forgotten your customers.

Also known as “lust to lax syndrome”, this is where you’ve gotten so wrapped up in your quest for new business that you have taken your existing customers for granted, or even worse, forgotten them altogether.

It’s a well-known fact that 80% of your sales come from 20% of existing customers. With these stats it’s a wonder why most marketing and sales campaigns are designed for the new customer. Don’t waste time trying to please a large group of customers that will produce a small fraction of your revenue. Know the market you rock in and own it.

4.        You’ve created an environment of yes-men.

If your staff fall quiet at meetings or fail to question your decisions, you need to be worried. One of the most critical things to a business is putting the right team in place to support your agenda. Unfortunately one of the most common mistakes leaders make is surrounding themselves with “yes men”.

Just because your yes man executes as directed doesn’t mean the project will be successful. If you surround yourself with people that don’t challenge your plan, expect to miss out on critical information that would otherwise make your project successful. Accept and embrace that the right decisions may not be your decisions. Challenge your staff to challenge you, and thank them when they do.

5.        You’ve left all the decision making to your CEO or Senior Management.

If you think because you are a CEO that you know what’s best for your company, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Excluding various departments at multiple levels in project planning sends a bad message: “Sure, we have Technical Support reps, but they couldn’t possibly have the capacity to be part of corporate decisions.” The whole point of hiring an industry professional is because they are experts in their area. So don’t restrict strategic planning to executives and senior management. Otherwise, you will end up wasting resources rejecting things your uninformed staff helplessly create just to please you.

Skip the negligence and power-tripping and invite Joe Junior Product Manager to your next planning session. He has every chance of being the next Steve Jobs as you do.

 

Kelly Batke

Kelly is the self-confessed technology laggard who works in technology. The good news is she is slowly reaching late adopter status. Kelly enjoys learning and writing about the psychology behind technology—as in why do we buy what we buy, and how does that impact our environment?