How to Regain Competitive Advantage and Relevance for Your Business

1/20/2016 5:17:00 PM
By Steve Greenblatt

Preparing for a successful 2016 means understanding what business growth really means and how to achieve it. A clear refrain at the InfoComm AV Executive Conference (AVEC), near the end of 2015, was “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

 

A company can grow by increasing revenue, staff, or market share. But it can also grow by being open to new ideas, pursuing new opportunities, or changing to adapt to the new business landscape, marketplace, client needs, and competition.

 

Teamwork

The value of a team was another consistent message for achieving business growth and overall success. Investing in a good team creates a solid foundation and supports leadership efforts for companies to reach greater heights.

 

Self-Assessment

Assess how well prepared your company is for the current and future business landscape. Are you ready to embrace the inevitable changes in the industry and marketplace, or are you in the vulnerable position to have competition or outside influences pass you by?

  

The classic cases of Kodak, Blockbuster, Circuit City, and Borders are examples of companies that missed opportunities to reinvent and ignored signs that indicated a shift in business. A business that grows but does not self-assess gets too confident, comfortable, and complacent. These businesses were not agile enough to keep up. As a result, formerly strong companies and industry leaders withered away.

 

How do we avoid a similar fate in our businesses and our industry?

 

Change

Not only is change difficult to envision and implement, it involves risk and discomfort. On the other hand, change can be invigorating and creative. The idea of creating a new, enticing customer experience can be the necessary differentiator that sets our businesses apart from competition and makes you an industry leader. On the flip side, sticking to business-as-usual and expecting better results can be a recipe for disaster.

 

Opportunity

Although, at the core, your business may be a common offering in a competitive market, specialization leads to a fun and exciting experience. It also allows you to provide differentiation and customized offerings that lead to increased customer demand and opportunities for premium pricing. How can we apply this approach to businesses in the AV industry?

 

Wouldn’t it be a big win to make our businesses more fun and more appealing to customers, and to make more money doing so?

 

Think of Starbucks as an example of a business that uses unique and specialized offerings in a competitive market. Whether it is mobile payment, mobile ordering, drive thru pickup, a comfortable and inviting environment, customer service-oriented servers, or high quality products, Starbucks is able to charge a premium and get a steady line of customers every day, no matter the time of day.

 

If we were to take AV systems or services to the next level like this, what would it look like? Could customer experiences be enhanced or customized? How would you invest in your team? Can we make doing business more fun and more rewarding for our teams and our customers?

 

Let’s make 2016 our time to answer those questions.

 

Steve Greenblatt is president of Control Concepts, an AV control systems solution provider based in Fair Lawn, NJ. Follow him on Twitter @stevegreenblatt.

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