Out shopping last week, I overheard a teenage lad saying to his dad: “have you seen this cool new form of music; vinyl?”
Despite an explosion in digital and streaming music such as Spotify, people are spending more money on vinyl records, and more vinyl buyers are millennials. 1.3m vinyl albums were sold in 2014, the highest number in 20 years. In 2015 we even saw the introduction of the UKs first ever Official Vinyl Charts.
It got me thinking: people, market and technology all change. If you refuse to change, by constantly innovating your products or services, you are doomed.
But the one constant than remains is that true Entrepreneurship can propel business of any size and of any age.
Take Apple for example. Apple Computer was practically dead, back in 1997: Wired Magazine ran a cover story about Apple with the caption ‘pray’. How did Apple become one of the biggest business comebacks of the past twenty years? The popular creative maverick – Steve Jobs – was brought back. Yes, he had offended as many as he inspired, but his presence ensured that nobody remained indifferent, let alone bored.
Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture
When Edwin H. Land introduced instant photography to consumers in 1949, it sparked a one-day sell out of every Polaroid camera leaving the production line. By 2008, digital cameras had pushed Polaroid films into the past. Polaroid stopped making its signature film and declared bankruptcy — for the second time since 2001.
But a group of creative aficionados were not ready to let it go, and bought a Polaroid factory that are making film today that fans say keeps getting better and better. Their newest invention – a device that helps turn pictures from your smartphone into actual, physical instant photos – started with a Kickstarter goal of $250,000 and ended up raising twice that.
[Lessons learned: reviving a brand can work…!]
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
As entrepreneurs and business owners we do get easily bored and can be erratic, pig headed, and not able to focus on one thing for more than one second. But we are also visionary, love shiny new things, thrive on impossible deadlines, get stuck in to fix a problem and work around the clock.
This means we are always striving for perfection, seeking out new innovations, focussed on our end goal; but limited by our size we can get bogged down in the menial day-to-day operational tasks of running the business.
Last thing’s first…
To help you get in a position to start growing your business in a measurable and controlled way, I’d like to share my proven approach. My SCALE System covers all 5 elements a business needs to scale; it focuses on two key components: (i) S the set-up of Strategy and, (ii) E the Execution to Exit. And we start with E first.
Most owners will naturally start with the strategy. Our experience tells us that the weakness is actually in the right execution – getting the right structure, right people and right processes in place before you can even think about your 1 year, 3 year and 10 year strategies. As Daniel Priestley says: your environment will dictate your performance, and it’s this you need to get right before you move onto the vision and strategy.
“Would your team thrive in Google or Apple? Of course they would”. – Daniel Priestley
Once you have your structure, people and alerts in place; with everyone in the same mind-set and disciplined way of working, you need to Set-up and share your clear vision and Strategy for the future. This looks at who you are, why you do what you do, and where you are going. The overall aim is to get your business to have one clear vision, with one consistent voice, as one aligned team.
So if you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, and cannot see through the fog, remember what Thomas Edison said: “When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
If you want to explore more about where you are in your Scale Journey, let’s have a chat to see how we can help you choose what you do with your tomorrow.
Have a great week, I’m off to order one of my favourite ever LP vinyl’s – ABC’s Lexicon Of Love!