On-demand will always win. Until you figure out how to deliver your products and services faster, you WILL lose marketshare. It’s a reality. It’s a promise. When the wheels start moving- in this case the wheels of consumer demand for more efficient delivery – you better hop on the train or you risk watching it leave the station.
Amazon is imagining new ways that disrupt our old habits. Their latest is a drive-through grocery store. Their model is a reportedly 11,600 sq/ft facility that consumers will drive up to and receive the items they chose online. This means no searching for the right aisle, no waiting your turn for those deli meats and no more standing in line behind the old ladies still writing checks! This is genius stuff. It also means, that with a smaller footprint for a storefront, they can be placed more strategically and widespread.
So what should you, business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, take away from this? It’s time to get nimble and time to get faster. Below is my step by step plan to re-imagining the way you’re currently delivering your products and services. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be scary. But trust me, if you still want to be in business five or ten years from now, I urge you to go through this exercise. Take one day “off” next week…and I mean really off. Turn off your phone, shut off your social media and delegate tasks to your team (or just leave them for tomorrow)
- Take and inventory of all the steps involved (your own, vendors, team, etc.) to deliver your product or service to the customer and write down the times each phase take, Brainstorm a way to automate or delegate even just one of these phases.
- Evaluate the order taking process and streamline it. Order taking and on-boarding is often a bottleneck where miscommunication occurs. If you’re in a service based business, take a cue from consumer-based and setup an online order form. Include all the possible options available so clients can order 24hrs a day instead of waiting for business hours.
- Evaluate your vendors (if any). Call them and ask if they will speed up their process for you. If they can’t, go to that vendors nearest competitors and offer them to bring your business to them if they can deliver similar quality for roughly the same price with faster turnaround. Creating that competition for your business will empower you, and it will surprise you.
- Evaluate yourself and your team and look for inefficiencies that can be corrected with software or training. A small investment in the right tool or education will pay off exponentially.
- If you’re a right-brained thinker (like me), talk to an analytical left-brainer like a software developer or a business consultant. Show them your current process. They will find inefficiencies. I promise!
Taking steps like these will help you disrupt your industry and make you more attractive to today’s on-demand consumer.