Momentum Slowing You Down?

Yes, in physics momentum is what keeps things going.  In business, more often than not, momentum keeps the business going – in the wrong direction, slowing results.

Businesses which experience early or substantial success often find it difficult to perpetuate, recreate, or recapture those results.  Often this stems from a reliance on the methods, models, processes, and systems of the past in an environment – competitive and economic – which has changed significantly.

Look at Our Results – Why Should We Change?

Past results serve as one indicator of future outcomes, it is true.  The future, however, is about potential – potential which must be pursued with the strategies, tactics, and tools that fit existing and future conditions.  Businesses which perpetuate success are those which are able to understand that the underlying elements of success require the repetition of matching conditions and opportunities with the capability and capacity of the organization.

Past success doesn’t mean you have found “the formula”, it means that you found a formula which worked at that point in time.  The momentum from that successful formula may serve as an obstacle to pursuing comparable levels when those new levels require changes in how you are doing business and/or the type of opportunities you are willing to pursue.

Profitable Projects and Mega Markets

Sometimes companies get lucky.  The preparations made, the capabilities developed, the opportunities recognized, the market parameters identified, the timing achieved – all come together to create mammoth success.  A purple and green dinosaur captures the hearts and imaginations of toddlers.  An energy drink that tastes less than great becomes the viral marketing darling of the internet set.  A motivational speaker sells billions of dollars of the same message, over and over and over and over. These are lightning in a bottle events not predicted and the dream everyone wants to replicate.  The question is this:  Can they be replicated?  Should you even try?

The phenomenal successes of one in a million business concepts, these models of “overnight” sensations and entrepreneurial wonders are inspirational and motivational.  They are also stories of those businesses which continue to innovate and work at continued success.  They stand out not only for the “initial” success but also for the emphasis these companies put on building on the phenomena they created.  They are models of connecting with the market, putting marketing muscle behind the product, continuing to invest in additional product development, and the business model.  These businesses didn’t stay one-hit wonders.  They built on their successes.

It isn’t enough to come out of the gates ahead of the competition.  You have to stay ahead in the race and keep the energy flowing, the crowd cheering, and the customer enthusiastic and committed to you and your product.  The company that takes early success for granted will fall under the weight of expectations and the momentum of the way “we did business when we started”.

Success is About the Start, The Race, and Continuing to Compete

Getting the market’s attention isn’t enough.  Do you have a favorite commercial?  Does it make you buy the product?  Is there a product that you have camped out to buy?  Waited for weeks for it to hit the market?  Did it even have a commercial on TV?  Where is your customer?  Where is your competition?  How did you find initial success or did it find you?

Are you so busy holding on to the way you’ve always done it that the little guy in his garage has stolen your market place?  Were you the little guy in the garage and you lost sight of being nimble and quick and lost your market to the kid in his parents’ basement or the girl in the dorm room?

Where did you start the race?  How did you succeed? What do you need to succeed now?  What is the market doing now?  What does it need?  What are you good at?  What do you need to be good at?  Where is the gap?

Past success is no indication of the future, but it can be.  If you choose to compete, you can succeed.  Check your competitive equation.  What are the variables?  What are the constants?  What do you need to change?  Monitor what you are doing.  Don’t let momentum slow you down!  Accelerate!

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