I know plenty of incredibly intelligent people resistant to change. I see people refuse to create a Facebook account or wonder why they would need a phone that does anything other than dial a phone number.
I’ve seen businesses toe the same line. Borders was at one time the nation’s prominent book seller. It looked like they’d be impossible to topple from that position. Customers are currently perusing their aisles looking for the best liquidation sales, before they close the doors forever.
How did it get to that point? They never thought the internet would be a factor. Their online presence was lackluster at best. They never made a strong push in to the e-reader market. As the rest of the world utilized the internet for retail purposes, this was a disappointing strategy from a company with the relevance of Borders.
Blockbuster took the same tactic, and a lot of good that did them. Netflix is now the industry standard for watching movies.
What’s the lesson here? Stay flexible. Think from the perspective of your customer. How do they use the internet with regards to your services? These are questions you should be able to answer, that lead to practices you should be able to justify.
While the parking lot may be full at Borders right now, it’s because the deals are bound to be good as they close their doors forever. What can you do to make sure you remain relevant?
Do customers have a way to access your services via mobile? No matter where your business stands amongst the competition, do not resist change. The great thing about the current tide of change is that it equalizes the smaller businesses with the larger.
A small online book store could leverage social media to achieve a larger scale success than what would have been possible 10 years ago. That’s just one example. Talk with customers. Interact. Give them your one on one attention. Give them the best ways possible to access your services. Don’t discount the web, and the current wave of technology.
You don’t want to go the way of Borders or Blockbuster. This economy, this culture is brutal to unbelievers.