Too often, businesses find themselves caught up in today’s market environment and are still trying to stay ahead by incremental product improvement. And generally, their installed competition is playing the same game. In this condition, most market intelligence is coming from the business’s internal organization and often from any resellers/distributors that they may engage.

So, how do you prevent yourself from falling into the same trap when considering and planning the future growth of your business? There are four questions you should be asking yourself about your business:

  1. How many new opportunities are you taking advantage of today, and what is the primary basis of your growth focus?
    This is what we do, although historically focused, may prevent even considering a novel opportunity. Often, a small team of investigators could bring “out of the box” thinking to your business leadership.
  2. How do you define your core business, and does that definition allow for investigating new horizons?
    Often, an internally-focused business definition prevents open investigation and consideration or opportunities on the edge of your current technology or application arenas.
  3. Do you have a mechanism to identify emerging customer needs?
    Growth companies tend to continually investigate the changing market environment—including evaluating future scenarios for the markets you serve.
  4. How often do you take these new opportunities into your strategic planning process, and does your strategic planning process allow looks into alternative Future States?
    This is more than a brainstorming session, and requires a Future Business History℠ approach to capture what your organization must do and how you must do it to realize a better future.

Are you concerned about your future growth? Do you have any experience with outrunning the future? Leave a comment below. Or contact us to discuss your interest and how we might help.

About the Author

Ronald E. SullivanRon Sullivan is a Senior Partner at Breakthrough Marketing Technology. He has worked with many businesses on innovation, new product development processes, strategy, building new business models, channels and distribution, and pricing optimization. He has significant expertise in study design, data analysis, and market intelligence.

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