“Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year…” Who doesn’t know these legendary lines from “Dinner for one”? But they cannot be applied to business models, especially not in such turbulent times as today.
Business models need to be regularly reviewed and adapted, no matter how successful they were in the past. Just think of Kodak, which designed the first digital camera and yet did not believe in the digitalisation of photography. An expensive misjudgement that Kodak paid for in the end with its own insolvency.
Lots of new dynamics
There is currently a lot going on in the SME sector, among other things due to increased energy prices, disrupted supply chains or a shortage of skilled workers. In addition, there is the issue of sustainability, which has now reached the manufacturing sector. Proven materials – often produced in an energy-intensive way – are suddenly being put to the test and will probably have to be replaced sooner or later. In some industries, the automation of production is progressing faster than expected. In others, it is possible to individualise products through 3D printing, among other things, and thus fulfil special customer wishes. Just think these considerations further and transfer them to your own business field – and you may already see how much disruption will also change your company.
So what to do? In my opinion, only putting the usual key figures to the test at the beginning of each business year falls short. It is at least as important to take a critical look at your own product portfolio. For example, digitalisation will make some products superfluous or technologically changed in the future. So why hold on to them when it is just as possible to invest time and energy in the development of promising products that match the company’s know-how?
Also recommended: a look at the trends of the next years and decades. What is already on the horizon – in your own industry as well as in the overall economic and social situation? How are the markets for our own products changing? Which customers are we addressing today, which ones tomorrow and the day after?
We live in an ageing and culturally increasingly diverse society. This alone requires corresponding adaptations for products and services. Simpler, intuitive operation and user guidance, larger control elements and keyboards, operating instructions in simple language or with quickly comprehensible pictograms… Or let’s look at the food industry: vegetarian, vegan, lactose- and gluten-free, organic, fair-trade, halal, convenient, climate-neutral production – 20 years ago, some of these trends were still in their infancy or no one had them on their radar. And today?
Thinking in a visionary way helps you to strengthen your business model. This includes the honesty to acknowledge that possibly your strongest products or services today will be swept off the market in the future or will have to change.
You may now be thinking: Susanne Kremeier has it easy. But I, too, have put my strategy consulting business model to the test during the pandemic and developed it further. The result is a hybrid model that brings together the best of the analogue and digital worlds: Especially in my business, trust plays an important role, and this trust arises primarily in real encounters and conversations. But much of the counselling process can subsequently be handled digitally – at significantly lower cost.
Will this hybrid model still be viable in three, five or ten years? If the Bosch Technology Compass is to be believed, confidence in the digital world is increasing worldwide. Countries like India and China are leading the way here. Sooner or later, this trend will also take hold in Germany and further change my business model.
Would you like to review your business model and are looking for a competent sparring partner? Simply click to arrange an initial strategy discussion free of charge. I look forward to meeting you!