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Spotting trends in the marketplace that could affect your business

imageWe live in amazing times; I am told that my children absolutely NEED cellphones – by their GRANDMOTHER.  New computers, tablets and phones arrive on the horizon almost daily.  The internet is nearly ubiquitous.  People have changed the way they spend and invest their money.  Global warming is now more than a crackpot fantasy; we are experiencing it!  Each year more and more people are working remotely or building businesses out of their homes.

What does it all mean?

It means that if your company plans to do the same thing you have always done in the same way for the foreseeable future, you may end up out of business.  One of the components of building an extraordinary business is ‘Always be Innovating,’ meaning that the marketplace and industry are like moving targets.  As soon as you have the situation locked down, the situation changes.  If you aren’t innovating, you are getting left behind.

When we do an environmental scan, looking at a number of potential impactors in the business ecosystem, typically, we look in terms of a snapshot in time – what is going on right now or what could happen in the immediate future.  The challenge with this is that any business leader worth their salt is looking at the same information, which means that if you take the information you are gathering to incorporate into your strategic plan, you aren’t really giving yourself a strategic advantage.

It is when you are able to look beyond what is known as the ‘event horizon’ to predict what will happen before it becomes news that you can gain strategic advantage.

For example – with the information that a company like Google captures, it can look at not just what people search for, but how they use the information that they have searched for.  It wouldn’t benefit them to be so concerned with what an individual user would do, but rather, what groups of individuals will do with the information.

So say they see large groups of people who are looking at weight loss and dieting, trying to piece together how many calories, sodium, saturated fat, etc., are in a particular dish.  It would probably make sense for them to think about how they can help people remedy that; what is the most cost-effective and convenient way?  Perhaps it is a matter of scanning the dish with the camera on their phone which can identify foods down to the pixel level, cross-reference it with a database and give approximations on the food content.

But what beyond that?  That is only the first step.   Think about how this would impact the restaurant industry and all of what they purchase…and how it would effect the way that people eat and shop overall.  What are the ripples from there?  At this point – we are looking into the future.  And what do we do with this information?

Always be innovating.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Atlanta, Georgia based Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We help business leaders DESIGN | CREATE | BUILD extraordinary businesses.  We support our clients with financial management, product and service production and delivery, outsourced services management, sales & marketing and business growth.  We provide them with a number of flexible solutions to help them reach their goals.

Join us for a Coffee & a Consult, to learn more about Aepiphanni and how we might help you move your company from existing to extraordinary.

Technorati Tags: Innovation,foresight,strategy,environmental scan,small business leadership
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