Since the birth of eCommerce the game has changed, and today there’s not a working business around that hasn’t been touched by the reach of the internet. From peer2peer sharing through the gig economy to online price comparison sites, new platforms mean running any type of business has become more challenging than ever before.
This injection of new and relatively unknown factors has also meant an increase in pace for older business owners and entrepreneurs. Products and services are more subject to obsolescence than ever before, and even familiar (taxis & hotels) markets are quickly becoming dominated by the so-called industry disrupters such as Airbnb and Uber.
It seems then, that in the unforgiving world of business, there is one core tenet that all business owners abide; that is adapt or die. The question for existing business owners is how best to proceed into a relatively unknown future. Should you change your business in the hope of being successful or simply pack up and try something new? Here, we take a look at what each approach entails and how to know which is best for your business.
Adapting to the Market
Adapting your business to new markets is no easy feat, however, certain products and services may stand a better chance than others at being successful. For instance, any restaurant or cafe can now quickly and easily offer customers home delivery through gig economy services that take a percentage of the order total in exchange for providing delivery staff and facilities.
Certain retailers or manufacturers can also benefit from existing structures and platforms in order to extend and adapt their business. Price comparison sites or marketplaces such as Etsy are a great example of this, offering both large retailers and independent craftspeople the opportunity to get greater exposure online.
However, certain industries are less adaptable. Take for instance the plight of countless media formats such as VHS, cassette, and now even CD. Manufacturers of devices with traditional physical connectors are also beginning to sweat as wireless technologies take over. Any business focused solely on older tech is going to lose, and lose big.
Put simply, if you rely too heavily on one area of tech, whether products or services, you may find that your knowledge and experience is essentially useless a few years down the road. The key concept here then is diversification, and making sure your business is ready for changes in the technological landscape is crucial to its survival.
If you decide that your business simply cannot be adapted to today’s fast paced market, then it might be time to sell your business, call it a day and let go. However this doesn’t necessarily mean folding your business at a loss, after all, you may have many desirable USPs that a buyer may take an interest in.
This could be in the form of assets, knowledge, customer or client databases, and perhaps even the core of the business itself; after all, just because you couldn’t find a way to adapt your business to allow it to grow doesn’t always mean someone else won’t see an opportunity to make a go of it.
Selling your business at this point is probably the best thing you can do, and it’s better to take the money and run rather than watch it drain away. With this in mind, take a look at our guide to selling your business and how to optimize your profit during the process. After it is sold, you can perhaps begin to think again about how best to approach your chosen industry and how to be more successful in the future. Alternatively, you can just sit back and enjoy the profits of your sale.