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Productivity / Professional development

It’s never been so easy to become irrelevant to our customers

Ask yourself this question: If my customers no longer wanted to buy what I am selling today, what would I sell them? This is very confronting but also incredibly insightful, writes Andrew Griffiths.

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Recently I’ve had a bit of a shift in my branding and my personal area of expertise. I’ve become an Entrepreneurial Futurist, and most of my work centres around helping business owners and organisations future proof themselves in a rapidly changing world.

This evolution has come about because I’ve done so much work with people struggling to keep up. There is one key challenge that we all face and if we don’t get a grip on this rapidly, we move into obscurity – and this challenge is, quite simply, staying relevant.

Never before has it been so easy to become irrelevant to our customers – and this is an issue for both big business and small business alike.

Develop a stay-relevant strategy

With the world changing at such increasing pace, consumers are changing just as fast. These means that while we are doing our utmost to keep up, in many cases it’s simply not working. And the really big issue is, that once we lose our relevance, it’s virtually impossible to get it back.

If you’ve been a soloist for some time, I’d guarantee that you’ve experienced a rapid increase in competition in the last few years. There are always people coming along who will do it faster, cheaper and with more shiny gizmos than you have. Our experience and proven track record gives us an edge, but if you rest on your laurels, you may wake up with no clients – and that is not just an idle threat – I’m watching it happen around the world.

What will your business look like in the future?

There is a lot of talk about the jobs of the future, but not a lot of talk about the businesses of the future.

Believe me, there are many new businesses coming. Technology, communication, human behaviour – and our love of all things new, added to a world where it’s never been easier to start a business, and I see incredible competition (and opportunity) on the horizon.

So how do you stay relevant to your existing market? 

  1. Develop a “staying relevant” strategy; talk to others, research, take action right here right now.
  2. Become much better at communicating and engaging with your existing clients; don’t talk at them, engage with them, find out how their needs are changing and what you can do to keep up with them.
  3. Understand trends; there is so much information available about the trends impacting us all. Learn about them, and ask yourself a very simple question “how will this trend impact on my existing offering to my clients?”
  4. Create engaging and relevant content, that strengthens your relationships with your clients. Show that you get them and that you are evolving with them.
  5. Embrace NEWISM. In world in love with everything NEW, show that you are a part of this by constantly coming up with new ideas, new products, new experiences – NEW, NEW, NEW.
  6. Get on board with new tech – your clients are and if you don’t you’ll be left well and truly behind.
  7. Ask yourself this question (on a regular basis) – if my customers no longer wanted to buy what I am selling today, what would I sell them? This is very confronting but also incredibly insightful.

OK, that’s it.

The challenge to stay relevant is one facing us all. It is here to stay, it’s significant, and not everyone will survive. Those that do, will be the ones taking action today.

Andrew Griffiths

has developed an international reputation as one of the leading global entrepreneurial authorities. His books and articles are considered street smart wisdom, designed to both inspire and challenge conventional thinking.

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