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The market in which we operate today is changing rapidly in all sectors. We are working against ultra-high inflation rates, a persistent labor shortage and a nationwide supply chain crisis that has stalled the operations of many companies. In turbulent times, strong and strategic leadership is a must to keep an organization afloat. To move in a forward-looking direction during these moments of change, leaders must analyze their competitors, identify market disruptors, and research industry trends to stay ahead of the curve.
Over the past 20 years as Founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar national healthcare franchise, I have witnessed periods of sweeping changes in the market landscape. In particular, due to Covid, we are currently seeing a new wave of market changes that companies need to actively respond to and respond to. In this article, I will provide examples and a way forward to ensure your business thrives in a rapidly changing marketplace.
See also: How to Adapt to a Rapidly Changing Economy
How to position your brand to win
As markets evolve, determining the trends affecting your specific industry is the first step you should take to ensure your business is poised to win. Use these trends to analyze where the industry is headed and what that means for the future of your business. We see companies embracing technology like never before, digitizing their processes and teaming up with strategic partners to expand their reach. These shifts often result in a new phase of growth for companies that respond to consumer demands and align with the direction their specific industry is moving. Whatever the reason, in order to move forward, you should be aware of these trends and create a plan of action.
Another factor to consider is the threat of the status quo. No matter how large and successful your business may be, it is not immune to a changing environment. Adapting and adapting to industry changes is a key indicator of a company’s future success. A cautionary tale from a company that hasn’t been able to keep up with a changing market is Netflix’s ousting of the blockbuster franchise. Entertainment made the transition from in-store record rentals to home streaming, but Blockbuster didn’t immediately read and act on those changes until it was too late.
Monitor the competition and spot disruptors
Keep an eye on the competition as you monitor industry changes. Analyze how your competitors are reacting to market changes in real time and how your reaction differs. Another essential key is recognizing disruptors. Disruptors are new companies or technologies that innovate outside of your industry and significantly impact the marketplace.
One organization notorious for disrupting the market is Amazon. We can consider Amazon as the great disruptor of e-commerce. On closer inspection, however, Amazon is a sophisticated technology platform that adapts across industries — including healthcare, which is my specific industry. CVS is another excellent example. Though a retail giant, CVS also offers a range of integrated healthcare services through acquisitions and key corporate partnerships. Once the key trends have been identified and you have your pulse on the competition and the many disruptors in the industry, your organization needs to develop a roadmap to prepare for the next steps.
Also see: Why Amazon and Jeff Bezos are so successful at disruption
Embrace a shared vision
Another crucial piece of the puzzle is ensuring that all key stakeholders are involved in your strategic plan for the future of the business. The goal should be to adapt to market changes while staying true to your brand values and mission. That means having tough but necessary conversations with your network to establish alignment.
My organization is currently implementing our strategic plan to adapt to advances in the healthcare industry. The purpose of our brand is to enrich the lives of our customers and families, and our brand vision is to expand our reach and access to home care. As a national franchise brand, we need to work with our network of franchisees to ensure we share the same vision for the future. When we first unveiled the plan, it was met with hesitation from some franchisees. We continue to host one-on-one meetings and host network-wide town hall meetings to ensure our franchisees’ voices and ideas are heard.
Despite adversity and resistance from some stakeholders, I have remained steadfast in our vision to serve the best interests of our network by any means necessary to ensure consistency in delivery and quality, expand the addressable market, allow more seniors to have access to higher quality Getting care and being able to help further are the possibilities that lie ahead of us. I’ve had feedback from franchisees that changes take time to process and implement. Ultimately, many recognized the value of refocusing efforts to align with the external forces affecting our industry. Many have also recognized the opportunity that this change offers. Our strategic plan will inevitably drive revenue growth and profitability for the entire network.
A natural response to change is resistance. But as the saying goes, “There is Strength in numbers,” which is true when thinking about the future of your business. A network that comes together to create change is strong. But a clear path must be found so that all partners and all stakeholders can realize this common vision.
See also: How to Maintain Profitability in a Changing Market
The market situation and the precise knowledge of where your industry is going are often volatile. However, if you keep a close eye on market trends, disruptors, and competitors, and position your brand to keep up with these changes, your brand will differentiate itself. In moments of change, hold on to your company’s brand mission and focus on areas of improvement to meet the current and future needs of the industry. Be willing to be the leader that gets your organization where it needs to be, even if that may not be where stakeholders want it to be in the short term.