Malaysia Airlines MH17 had just been shot down. The Russian Rebels allegedly backed by the Russian Government were blamed. Europe and the USA slapped sanctions onto Russia. The Ruble dramatically fell in value.
And suddenly, successful businesses in Western Europe went under.
One such on the news was a travel company in Switzerland who’s main market was Russian tourists coming to Switzerland for their holidays.
The owner had been operating for 20 years and literally overnight her clientele dried up as Russians suddenly couldn’t afford to go abroad due to the exchange rate and went on holiday within Russia instead.
Hotels and restaurants suffered similar fates. Some hotels lost over 90% or more of their bookings!
Closer to home, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market. Some organisations are experiencing prospects pulling their heads in and refusing to make decisions like Chicken Little waiting for the sky to fall on her head.
All of which points to a fundamental issue and error many businesses, small and large, make.
They only have one egg in their basket. And once it breaks, it’s gone.
Here are some of the single eggs businesses have.
Only one major client. Or group of clients from a particular demographic – be it industry, location or type of service.
The risk of having a single client should be obvious. Only targeting one target market group like the travel agent above is a more insidious risk.
Often events completely outside your control could determine your fate.
Take Financial Planners who rapidly had to change their business model and charging methods due to Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms. Many of these have had to scramble to stay alive.
Or exporters who relied on a low Australian dollar exchange rate who struggled when the dollar rose.
The lesson here is you must diversify your market. So when one goes down, another one is up.
Another major risk is having only one way of getting your message into the hands of your audience.
I read about one coffee company doing millions off the back of free Google search waking up one morning to find they’d been dropped from Google’s index. No traffic meant no sales!
The same rings true for any advertising media.
Paid Google advertisers were suddenly banned. Facebook regularly does similar things. Mailing costs going up might make it an uneconomical media. If you market through live events, putting bums on seats has become exponentially more difficult. The list goes on.
And finally, you may have one “indispensable” person in your organisation. What happens when they’re no longer around?
Could you be in a similar position?
We can’t help you with the mitigating the “indispensable person” risk.
But finding new markets and methods to get your message out to them is where we excel.
Sometimes it’s not a case of a completely new target market, but adding value to your existing one and becoming a supplier to even your competitors’ customers.
In others, creating blue ocean audiences by showing them how your product or service could fundamentally change the way they deliver while increasing productivity and profit.
A great example of this is 3-D printing technology which by creating exact moulds is revolutionising industries like Jewellery, Dental Implants and even Hearing Aids.
Remember, the only constant in life and business is change. And usually change happens at the least convenient time. So you’d better be prepared and mitigate your risk.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Call us now on (02) 9499-7958 and we’ll help you develop new markets and marketing methods which will ensure your growth so you never fall victim of the most dangerous number in business, one!