The business environment around us is constantly changing. Organizations have to either adapt or fade away. Let’s take a look at Burger King for example. Once ranked number two on the list of top fast food chains now finds itself number 5 on the list of top 15 according to Business Insider (Source). In 2012, the top 15 fast food chains ranked in the nation had combined $115 billion in sales. It may sound like this is a good thing for Burger King with sales of $8.4 billion and 7,231 locations right? The fact that they are losing market share to Wendy’s, Starbucks and Subway is reason for concern. Additionally they have Taco Bell in the number 6 spot nipping at their heels. So what has Burger King done? This month they find themselves one of the first to market with Turkey & Veggie burgers tapping into the health conscious and vegetarian consumer market. Like Burger King, every business large or small needs to be able to recognize when it’s time to shake things up. Businesses can’t survive off of doing things the way they have always done it. The market and the consumer demand more. You have to look beyond the surface issues of your organization and drill down to your true pain. What challenges are at the core of your business? Recently I met with three prospects and all of them felt that Marketing was the biggest challenge. If they only had more money to put into marketing the company could really take off. As I began asking questions that got to the core of their processes, procedures, messaging, quality of service and people, we unearthed challenges that were at core of their organizational needs. Padding marketing while not addressing the real pain would only fail to meet their goals. Yes, marketing was one challenge but not the heart of their issues. So what can you do? Like Burger King we can all implement and execute business strategies that address your core challenges. Here are some tips on how to do it:
Diagnose: Gather the team and have an open dialogue about business challenges throughout the organization. You may need to enlist all levels of employees not just the leadership team. If you are a smaller organization or working solo you will need to go in eyes wide open. Be prepared to put the best and the worst about the organization on paper so you can get past your surface issues to find root causes of your organizations pain.
Plan: Now that you know your core issues it is time to create your plan of action. Who do you need to tackle the plan? Do you have the internal resources? Will you need to get external experts? Your plan is only as good as the people who will implement and execute so make sure you have identified the competences necessary to make your plan a success and assemble your power team.
Execute: Good plans go no further than the piece of paper you put them on of you don’t execute. Identify who is responsible for specific areas of the plans, check in with the team often, measure to ensure you are reaching the desired results, be nimble enough to identify when the plan needs to be tweaked to meet the changing demands of the market and the customer. While it is too early to say if Burger Kings new strategy will propel them forward on the list of top fast food chains I do believe that its plan will shake up the fast food industry and other chains will follow. Don’t be afraid to shake up your business model and do things differently. When your decisions are backed by market analysis and expert advising you will be able to reach your goals. There is no one size fits all solution no matter what industry you are in. Remember to execute your plans and be nimble enough to adapt. Your business strategy can lead to reaching your goals and growing your business.