Convergence is not a dirty word
Technology, media and business models are all coming together and will bedevil many business owners; but there are opportunities too.
As an example, the food and beverage industry is grabbing technology by the ears. It needs to. From the corner store to the multinational, from retailers through to manufacturers, cost pressures and supply chains mean that savings.
One area that is giving small business an edge is their capacity to source suppliers. One consultant – Sharon Melamed explains. Her business matchbard.com.au matches a business’s needs with suppliers. “Some have called us a “B2B dating service”, others “procurement for the 21st century” – essentially you hop online and complete a short questionnaire about the service you are looking for, and our matching engine produces a shortlist of the best-fit suppliers in the market to help So many companies are thirsting for an alternative to search engines as a way to research and find key suppliers for their business. Unlike Google, we match needs, rather than keywords, which is just a smarter way to go.”
Opportunities in the digital world abound; but while new rules are emerging, old rules still apply. For example an idea is not worth bull dust unless a customer is prepared to pay for it: so that’s a good starting point: get something (anything!) in front of a potential customer and get revenue. Once the idea has been tested then projections and all the normal ‘bits that go into a business case should be covered off.
Although hurdles are much lower for online businesses when compared to the offline, brick and mortar version that does not mean a business can run on the smell of an oily rage. Funding needs to be in place because every business, digital or otherwise needs working capital.
If you’re a founder of a start-up, or thinking about being one, or launching a spin-off venture, take note, because your idea of a business might just not be good enough to handle the speed of convergence and the trashing of old business models. People are still the key to any great business. Don’t underestimate the importance of good people and how much time and energy it takes to hire people, and how much more it takes to fire the wrong hires. It’s no bad thing in this era of convergence to surround yourself with exceptional people. That’s the most important part of the launch stage and the emerging stage of a business.