Is BUSINESS AS USUAL killing your brand?

is-business-as-usual-killing-your-brandI am on a very personal journey right now with my business. 8 years ago, I had a dream and after years of fine tuning the business, I am ready to make it come to life. To reach the next level.

What that means is continually putting myself out there, sharing my experiences and taking my business to a level that no-one else in the industry has been able to achieve to date.

Basically, my dream or more precisely, something that is on my bucket list, is to build a company valued at $100 million. I am finally on that road and I know that within 5 years, this is now a reality.

But to do that, it means that my company, Marketing Eye, must innovate more than anyone else in the industry. We must be an industry leader in every sense of the word. We have to create a different experience for small business owners and deliver results - everytime.

The plan is in place and we are almost ready to press go. It's an exciting, not just for me, but for my team of talented marketers, creatives and online specialists. Lifting the benchmark on small business marketing and creating the most innovative small business marketing firm on the globe is finally in everyone reach.

This whole process has me thinking. Are too many small businesses just operating 'business as usual'? So many small businesses are worried about the economy, the political environment and the basic business sediment that is overshadowing innovation.

If we look back at companies that have failed to innovate as quickly as they should, you can see why now is the time for all small businesses to re-think their business, bump up their marketing efforts and invest heavily in their employees who if you play your cards right, will steer the future of your business.

Remember Apple pre brightly coloured desktop computers and designer laptops? It was a dying brand. Then they invested in innovation and in marketing, and the results speak for themselves. No-one in the industry is innovating as much as Apple has done so in the past 10 years.

General Motors and Ford, two of the world's biggest carmakers fell prey to not innovating enough to wet the appetite of the market, and lost market share dramatically, bled cash, and struggled to turn their companies around.

Blockbusters transition from VHS to DVD was good, but they didn't adapt quick enough to a changing technological environment and consumer demand for easy to download movies, and where they are today, speaks volumes for what that has done to the business.

Dell led the way in selling computers direct to consumers forgoing retail stores, yet their competitors HP and IBM took their time and stayed selling in shops, far too long, losing market share and profits.

Yahoo, one of my favourite search engines of the past, lost market share by trying to charge for email and file sharing, while the new kid on the block, Google, gave away everything for free. You can see why Google had everyone flocking to use their search engines and set up email accounts.

Established media companies are trying to find their way in the online space with mixed results. The Herald-Sun in Melbourne recently forced online readers to register their details before having access to news. I don't know the official results of this, but I can tell you, I don't read the Herald Sun online anymore. Fairfax also has lost out with their subscription base model, because they could be selling more in advertising online than they actually do in their newspapers, if only they were smart enough to do this. The AFR is my favourite newspaper in Australia, but now, instead of reading it every day, I read it every other day and purchase it at my local newsagency so I can read at my leisure.

You may have a basic business today, but now is the time to think about your company's future What does it look like? Can you change your business model to adapt to changes in consumer buying habits? If you sell business to business, then what can you do to make your product more appealing? Is your online presence what it should be? Do you make it easy for people to buy your product or service? Are you giving your customers something that no-one else can compete with? These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

Please share your stories of how your company is innovating today for tomorrow.