The world is changing faster today than ever before. The business world likely underwent more transformation in the past week than it did over the course of a year a century ago. Technology has shifted the culture, redefined the consumer, and increased marketplace competition. It is up to companies to adapt to this ever-changing world and to stay relevant.
When Blockbuster opened in 1985, people thought it was too good to be true. Movie junkies delighted in the 8,000 tapes and 6,500 different titles that each store offered. At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 9,000 stores open nationwide and internationally, and was valued at an estimated $5 billion. When profits began to sink, the company underwent various changes in marketing, leadership, and ownership. What it failed to do, however, was change its business model to adapt to the modern consumer’s demands.
The company could have monopolized the entertainment distribution industry had they taken initiative on the DVD-by mail, streaming, or video on demand. Unfortunately for Blockbuster, but not for its forward-thinking rivals, Redbox, Netflix, and Hulu, these services were an afterthought for the struggling company, which now only provides minimal business through Dish Network.
This story is not unique to Blockbuster, however. Once-powerhouses including Sears, Dell, and Garmin all experienced a sharp decline due to lack of innovation. A company’s model can only be on top for so long. In order to thrive, a company needs to reinvent itself to compete in the contemporary, technology-driven forum.
It is vital for companies in all industries to reinvent themselves. In construction, for example, companies too, face new technology-fueled challenges. Consumers now have the ability to look up prices, compare companies, and negotiate better than before. Technology is a great resource for change. Businesses can effectively store and track data to analyze what their customers are seeking and what services are most profitable. The millennium has eliminated barriers between the client and the contractor.
In order to avoid being Blockbuster, it is important to evaluate your company’s business plan frequently. I beg the question: what are you doing to ensure that your company is keeping up with the changing world? How are you going to stay relevant?