Business is running smoothly. Sales are coming in. Customer satisfaction is good. Profitability is consistent. What you’re doing is working. Is there any reason not to be content?
Contentment sounds like a great goal that any businessperson would aim to achieve. But there’s a danger. A fine line exists between contentment and complacency. The reason it’s dangerous is that you’re vulnerable to risks, not evolving and becoming irrelevant.
Complacency can happen to the best of businesses. In fact, it is more likely to occur when companies are experiencing success. Consider that the Fortune 500 is a list of some of the greatest companies who represent achievement not just within their industry, but in the business world as a whole. Yet, only 13% of the original Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are still in existence today. What causes such a fall from greatness? Their stories are all different, but the bottom line is the same. Contentment with their position as a leader gave way to a failure to recognize threats and respond to factors in their marketplace.
How do you avoid it? Here’s our take on four tips courtesy of Inc. Magazine:
- Practice reasonable paranoia – The competition is lurking. And they will jump at any chance to seize your business. Don’t be blindsided. Role play and consider how the opposition thinks. Are there opportunities you’re ignoring? Is there a weakness in your service that could be exploited? Where is your market heading in the future? There’s always someone out there striving to be better. Make sure that someone is you!
- Look in the rear view mirror – It’s easy to get focused on what’s ahead. But if we keep driving forward without being aware of our surroundings, it’s just an accident waiting to happen. Know who your competition is and what they are up to. For example, BlackBerry was a leader in mobile devices but didn’t see the iPhone coming until it was too late. Are there competitors that you haven’t even thought about?
- You can always do better – Some of you are reading this feeling confident that you’re doing everything right. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but there’s no room for ego. Always look for ways you can improve in product, value and service. It’s not enough to just keep doing what you’re doing. How can you do more, be better, exceed expectations? Every detail counts from the way you greet customers to the cleanliness of your concession stand to the products you offer.
- Listen for fresh ideas – You don’t have to do it all alone. Tap into resources outside of yourself. Employees, customers or suppliers may have your next great idea. Read, attend events and engage in forums. Keep an open mind and you might just be surprised what you learn.
Don’t settle when you can be even more competitive! Gold Medal is ready to help you take your business to the next level. Contact us at 800-543-0862 and consult with our concession specialists for a fresh perspective on the marketplace.