Risky Business

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Risky Business

By John Stanley Many managers have attended our seminars over the years, listened to the newest ideas, trends and innovations and yet still hold onto the old way of doing things. They can see evidence of success in the innovative businesses and yet are holding back. Some of them even watch while their business becomes redundant and loses market share. Meanwhile others ramp ahead, winning new custom and profit. Some managers and business owners are concerned about taking risks and changing their business model. There are many reasons for this reticence. � It all seems too hard. It�s overwhelming. � They were innovators years ago and don�t want to reinvent their pet project. � Fear of losing the business and reputation. Two easy tools to help sort out this conundrum are the Boston Matrix and a Risk Analysis. Firstly sort your main product and services into; 1. Cash cows � the constantly well performing lines. Those lines that bring you easy wins at little effort. 2. Stars � those things that are increasingly profitable or successful � they are on their way up. 3. Dogs � those lines that you should as they are no longer relevant (even if you like them). Then identify some of the new ideas you think may be successful for your business and any changes you want to make to products and services. For each change identify the likely impact on the business, positively or negatively. For example, an introduction of shopping baskets would be a positive medium impact. Losing all of your financial data would be a high negative impact. Then assess whether it is likely to happen � high chance or low chance. Then create some back up plans � contingencies for those that have a high likelihood and high negative impact. Let your team know about your decisions, seek their input and try new things, one at a time. Measure their impact. Reaction of your team or client base will be mixed. You are bound to receive complaints. Don�t let this put you off. Be bold. Trust your experience and industry knowledge. Listen to your instinct. �Start by doing what�s necessary. Then do what�s possible and suddenly you are doing The Impossible� St Frances of Assissi John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 15 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. www.johnstanley.cc