Why do previously high performing businesses fail after some time? What could they have done so wrong?
Several business enthusiast have sought explanations to this phenomenon with varying degrees of findings and outcomes. In our opinion, everything the business scholars have found can be traced to the dying organization’s rigidity and inability to respond to changes fast enough.
Take a look at the case of Mr. Biggs and Sweet Sensation in Nigeria. The concept of fast food was undoubtedly introduced by Mr. Biggs and it was the front row fast food service provider for many years. The company’s success was so compelling; it triggered a lot of new entrants into the fast food business in the country. By the late 90s, Mr. Biggs and Sweet Sensation were known for their competitive rivalry in the fast food business in Nigeria. Today, Sweet Sensation is still standing while Mr. Biggs appears to be winding down slowly as it has closed down most of its outlets after over 20 years of operation. So, what could have gone wrong with Mr. Biggs?
In 1994, after Sweet Sensation could not keep up with Mr. Biggs popularity, accessibility and raving fans, the company became the first quick service restaurant to serve African cuisines across board. Today, Sweet Sensation is still in business and has increased its accessibility within and outside Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria. So, what could Sweet Sensation have done right?
It is vital that businesses are more nimble and agile, easily adaptive to their changing environments and accompanying business challenges especially as most of these changes and challenges are often unknown, unexpected, or not yet explored or exploited.
At the time, Mr. Biggs provided strictly foreign snacks to their consumers and Sweet Sensation provided exactly the same thing. As the customer’s became more aware, Sweet Sensation expanded its menu to include local delicacies while it took Mr. Biggs too long to make this and quite frankly, any other change.
The ability to adapt to such changes is what business fluidity is all about. It is the quality of being likely to change repeatedly and unexpectedly. The key words being repeatedly and unexpectedly. In verity, it is almost impossible to predict accurately, changes in socio-economic factors which may affect business environments, so being nimble enough to change will quite possibly be the biggest survival factor as we go into the future.
To do this, businesses must:
* Leverage on data analytics and market intelligence to make informed decisions including meeting customer’s needs;
* Minimize waste in processes and time;
* Decrease overheads with a view to increasing profits;
* Be in continuous sync with technological changes; and
* Constantly build intellectual capital through research and innovation.
Adjusting business models to become more adaptive is a good way to tackle increasing turbulence in rapid changing environments especially if businesses are looking to scale over time.