Thursday, August 3

Is Your Business Model Flexible Enough? 

From an article I contributed to for Entrepreneur magazine:

Whether you work as a company of 1 or in a much larger company (in ANY role - IT, HR, accounting, management, or light-bulb changing) - this applies to YOU.

Flexibility Test
Are you open-minded about your business model? Measure your own level of flexibility with this quick quiz. The more questions you answer "yes" to, the more open-minded you are about your business model.

1. I think it's very important to know what's going on in other industries because I know that evolution in those markets will eventually impact my business model.

2. I periodically envision the company being 180 degrees in the opposite direction, imagining it with everything from a franchising model to various pricing and distribution models used in other industries. I let my mind wander the map, and I encourage employees to do the same.

3. I regularly read magazines and trade publications from outside my industry.

4. Every so often, I ask our best customers what they don't like about our industry, from pricing to distribution. Their feedback can be incorporated in new ideas within the company's business model.

5. I contact a few former customers every month to find out why they stopped buying from us and what kinds of products and services they're buying instead. I also ask what they still find lacking in the products and services they buy.

6. I've asked a range of people--from valued customers and board members to business mentors--what they think of our company's current business model and whether it needs to change.

7. Our company's business model is different than it was just a few years ago. It's evolved as we've gotten to know our customers, the industry and the marketplace.

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