Ceteris paribus - all things held constant.
From business economics to finance, there is always a consideration of constant and variable elements in making determinations. In the larger business world however, perhaps the only ‘constant’ that can be anticipated is change itself. The landscape of business is fast-paced, ever-evolving and not one to easily relent in. Take a look at Kodak, once a behemoth in the photography industry, then rendered redundant with the advent of mobile phones which outperformed their services with even more convenience. Then there were internet cafes, once bustling hubs for surfing the web and streaming online services, things that just about anyone can now do without lifting a foot out of bed. Let’s bring this even closer to home and consider our social media apps; the endless jostling among these companies with some apps annexing the unique features that others specialise in, in a bid to push them out of the market. The business world is harsh - survive or take the exit. But what elements should the business moguls of tomorrow be considering to stay ahead of the curve?
BUSINESS IS CHANGING AND SO IS THE CLIMATE - LITERALLY!
You would be remiss if you have not taken note of the climate crisis that the world is getting buried in and the growing conversations surrounding it. From sustainable energy to waste reduction, businesses are at the heart of these conversations and the call for eco-consciousness cannot be overemphasised. If your business is going to stand the test of time, you must ensure that you demonstrate firm commitments towards such causes. It starts from maximising raw materials or other input in ways that reduce wastage and over exploitation of the environment, to adopting green-tech solutions which help reduce climate risk contributors while optimising ways of doing business. Besides prospective partner companies or funding organisations who keep keen eyes out for such indicators, many customers are also adopting strong attachments to eco-friendly products and services as a demand factor.
“AI IS COMING FOR YOUR JOBS!”
The above caption is perhaps one of the most hackneyed statements in the discussions surrounding automation and smart technology. And this is not to make jest of the matter because truly, there is real cause for concern. It is not just manual roles such as factory hands and mechanical responsibilities that are at risk of being annexed by artificial intelligence - the services sector is barely far from such worry. But perhaps instead of focusing on the ways in which AI may disrupt conventional approaches to business or detract from labour hiring, consideration should be given to its merits of efficiency and how this affords a redirection of energies. Customers will always appreciate convenience and potency in what they seek and these are the blocks on which the very nature of AI is built. Integrating all kinds of smart technology systems in business from supply to advertisement and delivery may just be what makes you stand out or eventually outlive your competitors in business.
KEEP AN OPEN EYE ON ALL THE CHANGING DETAILS
For most persons in business, change is a thing they respond to. Changes in the business cycle, the industry or some climatic issue may upset the order of things and suddenly there is a need to reorganise and respond in the face of the disruption. In that circumstance, it is difficult to be a master of change. At best, you simply learn to juggle the changes better - but this is exhausting. The best businesses are those who envision and embrace change, making themselves the architects of how the change itself should come about. This comes from purposed investment in change management strategies, being on the lookout for patterns in business cycles, the possible triggers that may upset markets, market intrusions or withdrawals which may influence consumer behaviour and the socio-political climate of one’s terrain as a whole. It is why the largest firms integrate change management into their business structure to stay ahead of what is to come. Think about this - if change is itself the only constant element in the business space, yet account is made for other variable elements, is it not ironic that the constant element does not get as much or even more investment? Call this the secret recipe for true market competition. Own it and let change serve your interests.
You are only as good a business as your appreciation of your niche markets. Take charge, stay ahead.