You’re an entrepreneur. Compelled to compete. Desiring to dominate. Wanting to survive. Maybe you even want to leave a legacy and transform and influence an industry. That’s the ultimate goal only achieved by the elite few.
These are the McDonalds for fast food, the Uber’s of convenient travel and the Apple’s of the mobile revolution. Startups that have changed business as we know it.
Daring to dream is what makes us human. But the stark reality is that to compete and dominate you need to obsess about where this fast changing world is heading. You can’t ignore reality any longer. So what are smart entrepreneurs focusing on? You need to be digital to the core. But where do you start? As an entrepreneur and CEO it starts with you.
If you want to make a difference it has to start with you. You need to “get” digital. This means immersion, focus and continuous learning.
Questions need to be asked. What are the best in your industry doing? Who is disrupting my market globally? What digital assets am I investing in? Is my leadership team digitally aware? Do I know the key trends that are impacting business? Can I build a global virtual team and work from a home office? Are you innovating, designing and building products for a digital world?
If you don’t have answers to these then you are just playing at the edges. And you will be disrupted.
In the past the team you built needed to understand the essentials of business as it was and how it had been for the industrial age. But the new skill sets needed don’t sit with just process and management. The tech revolution, the rise of the web and the disruption of affordable smart phones have changed the game.
Growing your teams and building Digital IQ is now necessary, required, and demanded. Business essentials haven’t changed, the tools have. The geek now needs to be the at the center of the revolution.
The Chief Marketing Officer in the past needed to understand branding 101. Find the right advertising agency. Be a leader. But now he needs to be digitally savvy. A tech hugger. Art and business now needs science.
Industry borders used to be clear. Music was dominated by the the big music producers. They controlled and owned the talent. They had the distribution
Now a tech company built a platform. An intermediary got in between the producers and talent and the customer. They delivered a digital product globally at low cost and made it easy. They also built an ecosystem. 1,000 songs in our pocket. Music anywhere anytime. Tech companies are disrupting A & Nking. PayPal doesn’t have any branches. Just a digital platform.
Can you evolve to make an impact that will change your industry?
Product and Marketing
Apart from business skills, management and processes their are two core areas you need to win at and optimise for digital as an entrepreneur: product and marketing.
If you are a consultant or coach or knowledge industry entrepreneur. The questions you will need to ask look like this:
Can I create a product that is digital and deliver it without travel or showing up? Can I scale me? How do I automate tomorrow what I do manually today? Can I add more value at a lower cost? Can I go global without a distributor?
Marketing and sales needed expensive infrastructure in the past. Retail outlets took years to build and enormous capital. It needed sales people that got in cars and knocked on doors.
These tactics and activities won’t disappear but they will be disrupted. Its about digital addition.
The questions needed to be asked here: Can I generate leads and sales from a digital platform? How do I educate and inform my customer while I am sleeping? How do I build a global community and tribe that I can distribute my products to without gatekeepers or intermediaries? Can I go straight to my customer without having expensive retail outlets?
To help you with the two requirements of a digital business you need a platform. A platform that your digital product sits on and in. A platform that has a community and tribe that distributes your product for you without you showing up.
The challenge? Working out how to do that in your industry.
So, start creating a minimal viable platform, create, test and iterate. Don’t settle.