I used to play hide and seek when I was a boy.
We’d agree that we’d have a count of 60 or 100 and that was the time limit for the other person to open their eyes and to start looking for me, whether I was ready or not.
If I wasn’t ready, I was in trouble and I’d be found really quickly.
If I was ready, I could hide for as long as I could hold back my victorious giggle.
The same problem happens in business.
The Importance Of Environmental Scanning
You design your business to succeed under current market conditions but what happens if market conditions change faster than you do.
You work hard and find that your new business design no longer fits as you expected because the world has moved on.
That’s why environmental scanning is so important.
What Environmental Scanning Does For You
It allows you to keep checking that things are as you expected – either things haven’t changed or they have changed in the way and the speed that you expected.
If things are different, you have a chance to course adapt – to change your plans to fit the new world that you expect.
I get quite nostalgic for the past but it is staggering to look around your house and see how technology has changed.
The Internet in particular has been an immense change for many businesses and the way customers expect to be marketed to. I know I’m much less intolerant of interruption marketing because I know that if I want to find out about a product or service, all I have to do is turn to Google and type in query.
It’s A Big Decision – Make It Carefully
As the future changes, we each have a decision to make.
We can either relax and let things happen and then adapt.
Or we can try to understand what will happen, decide what we should do and then make it happen.
It’s no surprise that I believe the second option is the one which leads to more business success – more fun too.
I urge you to do regular environmental scanning and analysis.
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.