. . . WINS! That’s right! History has shown us over and over again that this is true. The business with the best technology will win every time in just about every industry. But, do you know why? Because those guys never stopped thinking about ways to grow and innovate as well as use amazing technology to open other channels of revenue. Say it with me out loud. “I need to open new channels of revenue.” How many businesses do you know of today that have only one source of revenue?
As a test of how you think ask yourself these questions – would you spend ten thousand dollars with a plan in place to hopefully generate one hundred thousand dollars in revenue? I think everyone would jump in on that. How about ten thousand with hope of fifty thousand? I’m definitely still interested. How about ten for hopes of twenty or fifteen? Still here!
I know there’s a lot of variables left out in this example but knowing where to spend your hard earned money is important and if it were me, and its all of us at RPG, we’re spending our money on technology that will hopefully generate revenue and I would take you up on everyone of the above examples, all-day-long! RPG makes investments in technology all the time because our clients need it as things change. We need to improve so you get better at what you do. We invest in software upgrades, servers, cameras, lenses, more computers, iPads, etc., etc., etc. It’s the cost of doing business for us.
It’s hard to always know what to do these days as technology changes so fast and seemingly becomes more complicated and technology is expensive. However, if it’s going to be expensive it should at least be easy to use, right? Nobody wants complicated stuff – everyone wants things to be easy and simple, like the good ole’ days. I hate to break it you but those days are gone forever and what’s really sad is that the memories of how things used to be seems like decades ago. We took a poll and no one could remember the good ole days. it often feels like you’re starting over with a brand new business. “I didn’t use to have to pay for that! I have to pay for that now?” Yep!
In my opinion the technology advancements in 2012 will go largely unnoticed to the business world and most of the technology advancements you read about will be hyped up fluff with little or no break-through-must-have-items. All of us have become numb to the craziness and will literally pull back and wait for “real” advancements to come forward. “What’s wrong with the smart phone or laptop I have now. It’s only one year old.” A valid point, to say the least and there’s nothing wrong with it. Unless you’re a tech junkie you probably don’t need ninety-nine percent of newest and greatest tech items. Your job today will be to figure how how to really use the equipment you have.
So what should you do in 2016? Here’s a list to ponder.
1. Seriously cut non customer related expenses and find alternative ways to generate revenue.
2. Take care of your current customers and find out what’s really important to them.
3. Watch your competitors and stay ahead of them because they’re watching you.
4. Focus! Focus! Focus!
5. Hire a really good staff and give them the tools and the freedom to expand.
6. Put the technology that you do have to work and determine what’s old and out dated and replace it with new and more powerful equipment.
When times are good nobody wants to spend money on growth. Why should you? Things are going great the way they are now. “. . . we can barely keep up with our current demand.” I’ve heard that said many times. But, when times are tough you don’t want to spend money on growing your business either. You want to save what you have because times are tough and sales are down and you don’t want to risk losing what you have. Now you’re really stuck! You don’t know why your sales are down and for the most part you blame it on the economy or your website, or something else, etc., etc., etc. Why not? That’s easy to do. History has shown that far more businesses are created when times are tough then when times are good. Think about that for a minute. If you doubt me follow the money. Look around and see who is spending money and what are they buying.
In example number one I explained that you shouldn’t cut “customer related expenses” and I want to clarify this. Your customers came to you for a reason and stay with you for the same reason. You start shorting them to cut expenses and they won’t be your customers for long. This is one area where you can’t cut your way to profitability. Here’s a parable to remember:
A cafe owner, famous for his soup, was told by his accountant that he could boost his profit significantly if he would add just 5 percent more water to the recipe. The accountant was right. The water was added and no one noticed. Months later, the cafe added 5 percent more water and still no one noticed. Later, more water was added. And then a little more, but never more than 5 percent because they had now “proven” that customers cannot detect just 5 percent more added water.
As you suspected, the cafe owner didn’t lose his customers incrementally, but he lost them all at once. “The soup here just isn’t as good as it used to be.”
American businesspeople have a peculiar blind spot to the all-at-once backlash that comes from watering the soup. He said American businesses expect to see incremental declines when they are incrementally abusive, but that’s never how it works. When the wife packs up to leave, she takes the kids and leaves all at once.
For 2016, change how and when you look at growth and find alternative and innovative ways to generate revenue. Focus!