Regularly scan the business, social, and political environment, and don’t be all things to all people.
These are just some of the tips that two business advisors shared with attendees of the webinar ‘Strategic Plan 2021: Setting the Stage for a Major Comeback’ over the weekend.
Business owners and executives should think about what is unique and different about their business compared with their competition in the marketplace. In particular, they should think what makes their product or service unique in the eyes of customers, said Stephen Lin, co-owner and regional managing partner of international consultancy Haines Centre for Strategic Management.
Lin recounted that, when he once asked executives of a jeans manufacturer to identify the main reason customers bought from them, they said quality. However, the customers in the same room with them disagreed and said they bought from the manufacturer because of the variety of styles they had.
Without the proper information about customers and their behaviour, executives and business owners might be focusing on the wrong thing. Thus, businesses should look at how their environment is changing and impacting customers in a way that can be taken advantage of, he added.
“Unless you have a system for scanning, a system for collecting marketing and business intelligence, you will fall behind,” Lin said, as he noted that the world is “complex, volatile, and ambiguous.”
How Philippine firms can adapt
Professor Eric Soriano, executive director at Wong + Bernstein Advisory Group, noted that many Philippine firms are hurting right now, particularly those in the tourism and leisure, and aviation and maritime sectors.
However, firms that have been hard hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic can still find ways to adapt by looking at management tools such as the 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion), SWOT analysis, and Ansoff matrix.
Businesses should take a closer look at their target market, products, and distribution platforms, among others. “If the malls are no longer as robust, it’s a good idea to get out of the malls,” he said. He urged a push to digital.
He also advised companies to decide on whether they want to be a product, operational or service leader in their market. “Focus. Do not be all things to all,” he said.