The business world can be rough, tough, and competitive. Capitalism fosters a competitive climate in which only the strongest survive. So how can your company climb into the category of strong survivors? You can help your company not only stay in the game, but become an industry leader, by constantly finding ways for the business to evolve and remain essential in the marketplace.
Trust your instincts–if it feels like your business is in trouble, don’t wait to find out how right you are. Be sensitive to the warning signs as early as possible so you can right the wayward ship and get back on course.
Complacency is toxic in the business world. Competition is the key to capitalism and your competitors will not allow you to rest on your laurels. Overconfidence is often the culprit behind complacency. Even at times when your company is doing well, be careful not to get too comfortable or take your eye off the ball because your competition is waiting in the sidelines for you to let your guard down. Keep an eye on your competitors to stay abreast of their strategies and innovations. And you should always be analyzing your company and looking for ways to improve.
Along with complacency, one of the biggest causes of a business’s decline is the exact opposite: instability. While complacency is to be avoided, change for change’s sake can be just as destructive. Some companies, especially large ones, might be full of executives who feel they need to justify their existence and offer up restructurings. Be wary of any suggestion of a restructuring because, while it has been vital for some companies in the past, it is also often a move companies make when bereft of other ideas. Constant turbulence is not a good antidote for lagging profits.
Lack of purpose
If you find that you or your fellow executives focus far more on numbers than on ideas, vision, or serving your customers, your business could be headed down a bad road. When companies prioritize numbers over people, they often lose their way. Seeing your customers, clients, or shareholders simply as numbers can cause a bad disconnect which can lead to loss of market share or, worse still, unethical business practices. Keeping the attitudes and behaviours of your team and of yourself in check can be difficult. It’s not always easy to step back and clearly assess yourself and your trusted colleagues, but it’s a wise habit to develop.