This has to be split up into 2 areas
The Macro Environment – External
The Micro Environment – Internal
Companies like Blockbuster and Kodak failed because they didn’t understand the changing environment and what technological advances were being made. We live in a world now where technology is moving at a fast pace, so unless you understand the environment in which you operate, you will fail within a short period of time. Another recent example being Toys R Us that in one point in time monopolised the entire market, so why did they fail, and the answer is not understand the changing environment. People do everything on a mobile device now and the days of getting in the car with the kids and driving down to a place like Toys R Us have long gone. The proof is all around us when you go into any Uk town centre and look at the number of shops that have closed down.
Staying ahead of your competition has to be number one priority so continually analysing what they are doing in order for you to make decisions is priority. The internal business questions have to be what can you do differently that they are not, then take action in order to achieve customer satisfaction. You have millions of businesses all over the world all fighting for a slice of the pie so to get noticed you must offer a unique concept that allows the company to stand out. In summary keeping up to date with the evolution of trends of consumer preferences, habits and technological advances and the ability of achieving success over competition are not mutually exclusive.
Over the last 20 years I have been fortunate to have been involved with numerous large-scale operations in the UK and the Gulf, so you get to understand common trends within certain industries. I would honestly say not having a clearly defined road map to success with time lined objectives and a strategy to achieve those objectives is the reason companies fail. A business must have internal drive and the workforce should be accountable for decisions cascaded down. Successful businesses have ambitious objectives set annually that the staff have all bought into and that’s the internal driving force that keeps the micro environment improving each year.
The external forces of the business pick up what is required to take action within the internal part of the business, so you are able to define a strategy around the changing environment, then take action so you stay ahead of the competition.
Everything within the operations of the business will have a lifespan, so being able to analyse areas of stagnation and make change will aid to the future success of the business.