A business is a machine of many moving parts, and every part needs frequent “oil” to stay in good working order. A well-structured and well-maintained machine can run for years at a time with no problems, but as times change and needs evolve, sometimes those machines can need some updating. The same can happen with businesses — even the longstanding brands we’ve known and loved for years.
Transformation happens at the core. It may be your first instinct when looking at reinventing your business to go immediately for the obvious quick fixes. Change a logo, offer a mobile app or mobile payments, create an online presence if you’re currently a brick-and-mortar business, launch a whole new reinvented digital landscape for your business. Any one of these solutions may or may not end up boosting your business and reinvent your brand to something that attracts more customers, but it takes more than quick-fix solutions to adapt and transform your business.
Be advised: before you get the impression that this transformation is a one-time process, think again. Realize that transforming the core of your business is a constant; there will always be changes in your industry that will require adaptability. From day-to-day operations to a future digital reinvention, you will always need to start at the core.
If you don’t know where to start with the core transformation, think about this example. Netflix started out as a company that simply rented DVDs. They have since evolved into a company that transformed into a subscription model business that not only rents DVDs, but also streams popular content as well as their own original content.
This is a company that knows that continuous transformation is key, but Netflix did not come as far as it has in its transformation by starting with the changes that ultimately were made to their business model. They went back to the roots of what what eventually culminated in those beneficial changes. They transformed their business roots, and you can, too. When it comes to transforming the core of your business roots in an always-evolving world, there are a few things to evaluate.
I’d Like To Buy a Value
Probably one of the most important places to start addressing your company’s core is the factor that allows your business to exist in the first place: your customers. Specifically, what the value is that you bring to your customers. One thing Payline values is providing killer payment processing solutions to businesses; but something we value even more for our customers is the reason why we we work to provide those solutions. Payline operates through our why, or our purpose, and our purpose is to create opportunities and positive impacts through the services that we offer.
Similarly, Amazon’s original value wasn’t specifically selling books online, but it was rather the convenience and wide selection that offered value to customers. It is important to identify what your company’s added values are to customers before evaluating what may need to shift within them.
There’s No “I” in Team
When evaluating your core, take a look at the efforts of everyone that works to create the value for customers. A certain level of priority should be placed on making sure that everyone on your team has the resources and support that they need to deliver a great value. This also means investing in the right digital capabilities necessary to match the value to the customer evolutionary pace, (but more on that to come in Part Two).
Any additional hiring you do to improve this part of your business’s core should be looked at with the question of “why will this person/role positively impact our business and our customers?” In fact, up to 85% of the value can be negatively affected with a toxic culture or decisions that were not thought out, so be sure to evaluate whether your teams or culture need to be adjusted. The right team will uphold a strong core.
The Wheel Already Works, but What About the Engine?
There’s been the why, the what and the who, now you need to look at how, in order to increase efficiency and decrease costs.The business processes that you’ve previously worked through should be evaluated in one of two ways.
First, there is the logic to not reinvent the wheel, and see what processes will still hold up even as the business economy evolves.
Second, there is repurposing or reinventing methodologies that have worked with previous technologies and now either need to be retired or updated. Sometimes this can mean digitization, such as artificial intelligence, or sometimes as simple as reorganizing something in your office.
The important thing to remember in this evaluation is to not focus solely on on going digital right away. Throwing some technology on top of your business like a cherry on a sundae is not the first step to reinventing your business processes. Rethink before you redo, and identify the different touch points across a customer’s journey that can be evaluated. It should be a slower and more deliberate decision-making process.
iPod, iTouch, iSee into the Future of Your Business
When you get to the second part of business transformation — digital reinvention — you will need to make sure that you’ve invested wisely in the right technology that will propel that digital reinvention forward. When evaluating your business’s current technology usage, identify what practices do and will work best, and how to keep legacy technology functioning in a digital future. Don’t introduce all kinds of new technology for the pomp and circumstance, have a thought process behind it.
This all probably sounds like a lot to go through, so you may be asking, “why reinvent?” The answer is an easy one– To always stay relevant. Coca-Cola is still as relevant and popular today as it was upon its debut because they have continued to evolve their core over time, and your business can too. Now with a little guidance from Payline, you have a base to build from so that you’re prepared for Part Two: Digital Reinvention.
Before we give you that, consider everything discussed here. You don’t start building a house with the roof or the plumbing, you have to begin with the foundation or the core. Additionally, you can’t plug in a light without first putting in an outlet, so don’t start to rethink in the digital mindset until your foundational core transformation gets some attention first.
This piece was written by Lauren Mining, Content Specialist for Payline.