How to Cope With Threats to Your Business
As a small business, threats will come in all shapes and sizes but how do you deal with them? Follow these tips to keep them under control
Identifying and dealing with threats to your business is part and parcel of managing any company, unless of course you’re lucky to have a monopoly or even a niche with an endless supply of business.
Recent threats to our business have come in all shapes and sizes and often, all at once. The most aggressive tactic we’ve seen is a competitor who cloned our entire website, down to the last sentence; the only change they made was to change the colour scheme and logo, nothing else differed. We work hard to make sure our consumer journey is as good as it can be, so this blatant copy was particularly infuriating.
Much more than just other businesses the print industry is also under significant pressure from environmental groups and concerted efforts to reduce printing. While we are at pains to reduce our own carbon footprint and would encourage others to do the same, it is in our interests to encourage companies to keep printing!
Beyond reduced printing, technology is also affecting our business with more portable devices available on the market than ever, sadly there aren’t very many portable printers so much more work is done on-screen.
Keep your focus
The truth is, focusing on these threats could become an obsession, it might even become a full-time job! Our secret is not to let it bother us. Of course we keep our fingers on the pulse but we find looking at new threats pointless, we focus on what we’re doing right and improve each of them bit by bit.
Timetable your targets
We keep on target with synchronised plans and make our overall targets very clear. We sat down and planned out the next five years for our business and that’s broken down further into a one year plan and quarterly targets we need to strive for to make the five-year plan happen. Each of the directors sticks to this and our departmental managers stick to their plans, focusing on what we do and how we can do it better.
Don’t waste time worrying
Worrying gets you nowhere; I remember how anxious we were over Amazon’s expansion plans into office supplies. We needn’t have been, we’ve continued to grow every year, even with Amazon’s buying power and economies of scale. There was nothing we could do, and as it turns out, nothing that needed to be done.
To sum up, with business it’s your own success that you need to focus on, not the strengths of other operators in the marketplace. Drown out the noise created by your competitors and instead keep focused on the objectives you can achieve from within. It’s those, and those alone, you have the power to influence.
Sean Blanks is the marketing director of www.cartridgesave.co.uk.