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The market we work in today is rapidly changing across all industries. We are working against ultra-high inflation rates, an ongoing labor shortage, and a nationwide supply chain crisis that has slowed operations for many businesses. During turbulent times, strong and strategic leadership is a must to keep an organization afloat. To move in a forward-thinking direction during these times of change, leaders must analyze their competitors, identify market disruptors, and research industry trends to stay ahead of the curve.
Over the last 20 years as the founder and CEO of a multi-million dollar national franchise in the healthcare industry, I have witnessed periods of great change in the market landscape. Most notably, due to Covid, we are currently seeing a new wave of market changes that companies need to actively react and respond to. In this article, I’ll provide examples and a path forward to ensure your organization is set up for success in the midst of a rapidly changing market.
Related: How to Adapt in a Fast-Changing Economy
How to position your brand to win
As markets evolve, determining the trends influencing your specific industry is the first step you need to take to ensure your business is positioned to win. Based on these trends, discuss where the industry is headed and what this will mean for the future of your organization. We are seeing companies embrace technology like never before, digitize their processes and align with strategic partners to expand reach. These changes often usher in a new season of growth for companies that meet consumer demands and align with the direction their specific industry is headed. Whatever the reason, to get ahead, be aware of these trends and create an action plan.
Another factor to consider is the danger of the status quo. No matter how large and successful your organization is, it is not immune to a changing environment. Adapting and adjusting to changes in the industry is a key indicator of a company’s future success. One cautionary tale from a business that couldn’t keep up with a changing market is Netflix’s displacement of the Blockbuster franchise. Entertainment moved away from in-store record rentals to home streaming, however, Blockbuster did not quickly read and respond to those changes until it was too late.
Look at the competition and recognize the disruptors
As you monitor industry changes, keep an eye out for the competition. Analyze how your competitors respond to market changes in real time and how their response differs. Another essential key is to recognize the disruptors. Disruptors are new companies or technologies that innovate outside of their industry and have a significant impact on the market.
One organization that is known for disrupting the market is Amazon. We can think of Amazon as the great disruptor of e-commerce. However, when you take a closer look, Amazon is a highly sophisticated technology platform that caters to all industries, including healthcare, which is my specific industry. CVS is another excellent example. While it may be a retail giant, CVS also offers a variety of integrated health care services through major corporate partnerships and acquisitions. Once the key trends have been determined and you have the pulse on the competition and the many industry disruptors, your organization will need to develop a roadmap to prepare for what’s next.
Related: Why Amazon and Jeff Bezos Are So Successful at Disruption
Adopt a shared vision
Another crucial piece of the puzzle is ensuring that all key stakeholders agree on your strategic plan for the future of the business. The goal should be to adapt to market changes while staying true to your brand’s values and mission. This means having difficult but necessary conversations with your network to establish alignment.
My organization is currently implementing our strategic plan to adapt to developments in the healthcare industry. Our brand purpose is to enrich the lives of our clients and families, and our brand vision is to expand our reach and accessibility of home care. As a national franchise brand, we must work with our network of franchisees to ensure we share the same vision for the future. When we initially presented the plan, some franchisees received it with doubts. We continue to hold one-on-one meetings and host public meetings across the network to ensure our franchisees’ voices and ideas are heard.
Despite adversity and opposition from some players, I have remained steadfast in our vision to defend the best interests of our network by any means necessary to ensure consistency in delivery and quality, expand the target market so that more people older people can access quality care and comply. the opportunities ahead. I have received feedback from franchisees that change takes time to process and get up and running. Ultimately, many recognized the value of refocusing efforts to align with external forces affecting our industry. Many also recognized the opportunity this change presents. Our strategic plan will inevitably drive revenue growth and profitability for the entire network.
A natural reaction to change is opposition. However, the saying goes, “there are strength in numbers“, which is true when you think about the future of your company. There is strength behind a network that comes together to create change. But a clear path must be established so that all partners and all parties involved can lead to out that shared vision.
Related: How to Stay Profitable in a Changing Market
The state of the market and knowing exactly where your industry is headed will often be volatile. However, keeping a close eye on market trends, disruptors, and competitors and positioning your brand to stay ahead of these changes will make your brand stand out. Adhere to your organization’s brand mission during times of change and focus on areas for improvement to meet current and future industry demands. Be willing to be the leader who will get your organization where it needs to go, even if it’s not where stakeholders want to go in the short term.