A confession from the past, my mother went on holidays in 1996 and I was assisting her in the shop, in came a salesman with the newest stock, I was convinced that it would be the best seller ever and ordered 100 of these rings. Today she still has 99 in stock and keeps them as a reminder to me that the next big thing is not necessarily right in front of you.
Experience has taught me that the lesson from 20 years still resonates. It may be shiny and new but does any one want it?
Business comes and goes in cycles but some things remain the same and it is this that is the core of any business. That’s not to say that business doesn’t evolve or need to change but things need to be analysed and see if it suits your business.
We assisted one of our partners recently who had decided to outsource his core business, this was done on a whim after attending a conference where a competitor was running through their success outsourcing.
Why was this business successful?
We asked why he was so successful and it was that his partner was on shore in the country where the other business was based. That they had clear language skills and the business had been in operation for 3 years before it actually worked.
What was the objective of our partner?
Labour costs have been rapidly rising for our partner and they are looking for solutions. Running the offshoring would reduce the headline labour cost, but then looking at the additional costs such as set up and travel it became pretty clear that this was not as lucrative as first planned.
Was it the next best thing?
Critical analysis showed that the option would only work with significant capital investment and time, something our partner is severely lacking. Stepping back and away from the hubris it was clear that this project would need a large multiyear investment and was not just a turnkey option.
Much like my experience in buying 100 rings on being convinced that they were the next big thing, when the critical eye is run over it, most next big things need a lot of work to get there. I didn’t analyse my market, much like our partner didn’t analyse the investment to outsource their business.
The next big thing might be just around the corner, just don’t expect them to be shiny and simple.