Friday, July 24, 2009

The Changing Landscape of Business

Businesses are competitive even in strong economic times, and they are especially competitive in challenging economic times. Over the past week we found many articles about how the competitive landscape is changing in several industries. As you are reading this blog, consider how your industry is changing. Are your competitors embracing new technologies or processes? What will you do to regain your company's competitive edge?


What happens when your company's suppliers begin to make their own products very similar to yours? And what can companies do when competition introduces a new product that quickly accounts for 20% of the market? Companies like Dell, IBM, Apple, and HP are about to find out.


Some companies are actually teaming up with their rivals in order to increase business. In this article, business owners - some of whom were competitors - realized a problem or a section of the market that needed to be served, they came together, and they were able to profit.


On a more global scale, and to continue the question we asked last week, the US, along with other major countries, must make the effort to stay globally competitive. Instead of promoting cutthroat competition, countries from around the world should come together to collaborate, and to make it easier for companies to collaborate across national borders. This article suggests that the US work on its public diplomacy with India by importing ideas and talent to promote innovation, especially with regards to energy and healthcare.


So, what can your business do to become more competitive today? You can focus on cutting costs. This article gives some guidance on how you can cut IT costs effectively. But what if you have already cut all of the costs you can?


You can try to increase your visibility on the web by getting involved in social media. Maybe look into a Twitter account for your business - this shows how businesses are using it to connect with their customers in a new way. Think about making a LinkedIn profile for yourself - you might be able to build your network. Use these tips for luring local traffic to your website.


When there is a new technology, take a minute to understand it, and then think about how you can use it in your business. Look at this article to learn how some companies are using trends to succeed. But remember: don't try to work every trend into your business. There are far too many to keep track of, and many may not fit with the goals of your business.


As the business landscape continues to change, it is important to take a moment out of your busy day and try better understand what is happening in the world around you. This can be physical and virtual. The world is changing at a rapid pace and you could be left behind. Some of these global trends may apply to you while others may not. It is important to understand that some of the new technology trends can make your life easier. You can try to ignore these trends, but then you will fall further behind. It is not enough to follow the trends, but you must also engage them. Even though you may not be twittering today, tomorrow you may be closing the business deal in china on Twitter.

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