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Value Creation Blog

Don’t Re-Invent - Break The System

Posted by Josh Patrick

obsoleteNo, this is not one of those posts about how we should tear down our political system.  That might be a good idea, but I think if we act locally and break the systems in our own companies we’ll get further.

For me reinvention means changes with small steps.  Breaking the system is looking at your business from an outsider’s point of view. 

Be an outsider.

Start with looking at your industry as an outsider.  What are the experiences that people who use your products and services find that are truly enjoyable?  What experiences are there that you know they don’t like?

When I was in the vending business it was losing money in machines that drove customers in our industry crazy.  No one liked losing money in machines and then not being able to find a way to get a refund.  There had to be a better way.  There was, and the convenience store was born.  An outsider would have seen that change.  People in the vending industry did not.

If you were to start over, what would you do?

If you were going to build you business from scratch what changes would you make?  Is there any way that you could make those changes?

I’m finding that many customers don’t like the idea that we make money from products we sell.  There is a movement that’s starting that some want advice and don’t want a conflict of having to invest or buy products from me.  I’ve put together a program that accommodates people who want that type of service.  What about you, would you think about what starting your business from scratch might be?

Are there regulatory changes coming down the road?

Regulation is a fact of life.  The government is in almost every area of business.  The more government gets involved the more we’re going to have to change how we do business.  If you’re in the health insurance business you might want to think about how your life changes if there ever is a single payer system.

What’s happening in other places?

The financial services business in the rest of the world is starting to change.  In both Australia and Great Britain financial advisory fees can’t be taken from accounts.  Financial advisors in both countries have to get checks written to them for advisory fees.  If that happened in this country, what would happen to your firm?

All business needs to continually evaluate the value proposition they bring to their clients.  Have you examined what the real value is to your customers?  Are you going to change it before you’re put out of business by a technological or political change?  These are all questions you need to answer to have a healthy company.

What is going to make you obsolete?

This is the big question.  If something will make your industry obsolete you need to know what that is and make adjustments to your company.  If something can make you obsolete you’ll need to not reinvent what you have, but break it completely.

I know some people in the video distribution business.  They’ve been planning for years about what to do next.  They know their business is obsolete, they just don’t know when the final chapter will be written.

What about you, is your business on the endangered species list?  Could it be on that list?  If so, the time is now to plan what you’re going to do about it.

I’ve written a case study on how to find your best customers.  To get our report titled Finding Your Ideal customers click on the button below.  This report will help you identify about what it is you do for your best customers and how to find more of them.  I hope you like it.


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Topics: business coaching, cultural change, value creation

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