When contemplating a new business venture, one of the richest sources of information and advice is those who have already succeeded in the industry or sector that you are considering. The technological revolution completely changed the way many businesses work, allowing them to offer a wide range of services in a global marketplace and gather more data about their customers than ever before.
In a data-driven world, there is plenty of research to draw on, with case studies of successful businesses often appearing in industry publications and on websites related to the sector. Many organizations have publicly promoted origin stories that form a part of what they are, with many still seeking to achieve their initial goals by expanding and increasing their market share.
In some industries, the focus is on regulation and maintaining a competitive edge while complying with the relevant laws and changing ideas of best practice. For some sectors, creativity is key and the secret to their success is constant innovation and the ability to react quickly to changes in market forces and conditions.
Diversification can be the key to success
In a fast-moving world where trends and fads can spread throughout the world in minutes, many businesses have had to adapt the way they operate to accommodate new means of communication, accepting payments, and dealing with their customers. For some, this has meant adapting the way they do business to incorporate modern technology, from payment methods to online ordering.
Many of the most successful businesses have had to come up with a completely new business model, or dramatically change the way they operate in order to maximize their competitive advantage. Many larger companies fully purchase businesses that provide them with essential services, building diversity into their operating model and offering those services to other operators in their sector.
Although it is known as a global cellphone company, Motorola started as a small company making battery eliminators, although these became obsolete almost as soon as the company was founded. Rather than give up, the founders challenged their engineers to build radios that could work in cars, then changed the focus of their business to walkie talkies and electronics.
When Motorola made its move into telecoms and cellular networking technology, it paved the way for historical events such as the transmission of the words spoken by Neil Armstrong from the moon. The spirit of innovation has seen a small, potentially failing company become a global powerhouse over the course of a century of technological evolution.
As a dedicated sports betting site, DraftKings had earned a reputation among its users for its willingness to branch out and diversify to provide its players with a full-service betting site that offers everything. As well as offering fantasy and other sports betting, DraftKings online casino has proved hugely popular, capitalizing on their existing reputation to expand their market share.
Recent activities include acquiring a broadcast and content provider and the addition of a software and gamification company that specializes in improving the user experience. These moves allowed DraftKings to provide their players with more engaging games, incentivizing them effectively and encouraging them to consider DraftKings as a one-stop shop for all their online gaming needs.
When it was founded in 1886, Honeywell was breaking ground in the realm of home heating with its early thermostat. While it is still a household name in the home heating sector, it has also gone on to become one of the most respected firms in the aerospace industry, a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical packaging, and a market leader when it comes to productivity solutions.
By using their existing expertise and knowledge and ascertaining where else it could prove useful, Honeywell has built on over 100 years of industry knowledge to become a key player in a range of sectors.
Although they are currently known as one of the leading international hotel brands, Marriott started when their founders, J Willard Marriott and his wife Alice, started serving root beer to thirsty patrons at their A and W franchise in Washington D.C. They added food to their menu and opened two more shops, including the first drive-through restaurant on the east coast.
Moving into supplying food to airlines, the pair continued to innovate and use their business acumen and knowledge of their customers to open the world’s first Motor Hotel in Virginia in 1957. At every turn, they used their existing product range to earn a reputation and gain traction in the sector, allowing for rapid expansion into new markets while maintaining the family connection that strengthened their brand initially.
The technological revolution has provided plenty of opportunities for businesses to learn from one another, share best practice, and collaborate to maximize their potential. Agile operations mean that even the largest organizations can change their offerings relatively quickly in response to market forces, global events, or advances in technology.
Businesses that are aware of the wider market and the conditions under which they are operating will spot trends as they emerge and use their expertise to develop products and services that meet their customers’ existing or future needs. Everything from on-site analytics to in-store feedback can be used to give businesses ideas and inspiration for their next move, and the most successful often foster an environment that encourages employees in all divisions to share ideas.