Roger La Salle’s webinar for the PCO Association will be on Thursday, 24th July 2014 at 1.30pm EST, we will let you know when registration opens…Ed
If there is anything certain in business, it’s that if you are highly profitable others will soon follow.
Competitors come in and dilute the market to a point where it’s not worth your while continuing. This has happened in all but a few special cases.
Success invites competition
The first convenience stores were immensely profitable with just a few populating the city centres servicing the many people moving to inner city high-rise apartments. Look now and you will see a convenience store every few hundred meters. The golden days of obscene profits are long gone. So too are some of the shops now closing as competitors, all selling virtually identical products, have saturated the market.
The same is happening to petrol stations as we see growing closures and the real estate being put to other uses. Coffee shops, once a bit of a rarity, are possibly now the most common site on any shopping strip. Internet service providers will also soon suffer that same fate as they all have identical offerings, their only competitive advantage often being price, and if price is your only advantage, your days are surely numbered as you race your competition to the bottom.
Is there a solution?
There are only three possible ways to mitigate the risk of extinction by saturation. The first is government regulations that make open competition near impossible. Banks, which are enormously profitable, are a protected species but they are among the few.
The second option is to seek monopoly protection using patents, trademarks and copyright etc. This is a very effective means of eliminating competition so long as you have both the financial means and the courage to defend your intellectual property rights. It is also worth noting here that patents can be just as successfully applied to services and business models, as to tangible or physical products.
The final way to retain your golden goose is to embark on a course of continuous innovation. Keep moving your products, processes, services and customers to an ever better place and leave your competition trailing in your wake. This is the strategy of many successful entrepreneurs and one that can be done very effectively with the right management mindset, the right processes and an embedded culture that encourages and rewards innovative.
Where to now?
Innovation, (as distinct from creativity which is an abstract term perhaps more appropriate for the performing arts, film and literature) is a reliable and dare I suggest engineering process that properly applied never fails to deliver results.
Embark on a journey of innovation and the new emerging paradigm of “opportunity capture” and you can rest easy, the competition will be left standing and asking, “What just happened?”
Roger La Salle, is the creator of the “Matrix Thinking”™ technique and is widely sought after as an international speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and business development. He is the author of four books, Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panelist on the ABC New Inventors TV program. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at “The Queens University” in Belfast. Matrix Thinking is now used in more than 26 countries and licensed to Deloitte, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. www.matrixthinking.com