We’ve all had “Kodak Moments”. Most of us have photo albums filled with Kodak prints taken with Kodak cameras. The name Kodak has been synonymous with the world of cameras since the firm was founded by George Eastman in the 19th century. But unfortunately nostalgia can’t always pay the bills.
The business world is littered with casualties that haven’t kept pace with social change or developments in their markets. We’ve already lost brands such as Woolworths and MFI because they haven’t been able to adapt quick enough and have subsequently found themselves consigned to the scrap heap.
The sensible option for any business owner during these volatile times is to get your head down and keep the business afloat. Think of yourself as a champion boxer who is always on his toes looking to land the next blow while avoiding being knocked down by his opponent.
Find time to work “on the business’ as well as working “in the business’. Be more strategic about where you are taking your company and take a clear view of what’s happening around you. I did that a few years ago by expanding Pimlico Plumbers to be more than just a plumbing company. I saw the opportunity to offer a wider choice of “home services” delivered through the trusted Pimlico brand. We now do, among other things, electrical work, carpentry, roofing and building. Plumbing is still our core, but without these additional offerings we might not be as successful as we are now.
Firms of all sizes need to be smarter about how business conditions can and will change. To steal from Darwin, if you don’t adapt to the world around you, extinction is the only conclusion.
Charlie Mullins grew up on an estate in South London and left school with no qualifications. He started Pimlico Plumbers in 1979, after completing a four-year plumbing apprenticeship. The company employs 150 professional plumbers and turns over more than £16m a year.
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