What It Takes to Make a Business Last

February 07, 2019

Growing a business requires you to be agile and responsive. Adapting to customer preferences, learning from your mistakes, and consistently innovating creates a path to long-term success. 

What makes a business survive for the long-term? 

Hard work and perseverance are just part of the formula. Growing a business is a combination of various factors working together. 

Three approaches, in particular, can help your business improve its long-term health: 

  1. Adapting to change
  2. Continually learning
  3. Embracing innovation

This article demonstrates how these 3 strategies can help your business achieve long-term success using case studies. 

How McDonald's Adapted to the Digital & Global Economy

Customer preferences transform over time according to new technologies and trends. The only way to succeed in a shifting business landscape is to understand and meet their changing preferences.

In the 21st century, for example, you need to develop an intuitive website and maintain a strong presence on other new media to engage with customers and keep them updated about your business.

McDonald's is an example of a company that has adapted to new technologies and changes – both culturally and digitally.

Localization and Consistency Key to McDonald's Global Success

Two major reasons McDonald's has been able to successfully adapt and succeed over time are localization and consistency.

First, McDonald’s localizes its offerings for new global regions it enters. Recent trends favor locally-sourced food, so it adds region-specific menu changes to allow them to address the unique needs and diversity of all of its customers.

On the other hand, McDonald’s is also known for its consistency: If you order a Big Mac from anywhere in the world, you can expect the same thing. As a result of both of these efforts, they have experienced global popularity and acceptance.

McDonald’s Advanced Tech Engages Digital Consumers

McDonald’s also recently began relying more on digital technology to streamline its transaction experience.

First, they began installing self-ordering kiosks to expedite their services. Self-ordering kiosks allow people to customize their orders, eliminating the opportunity for human error in the process from telling a cashier your order and them entering it into the system. 

In addition, they developed an app that keeps customers updated with their latest offerings and offers deals and promotions. Using location-based services, the app connects with users when they are in a store, offers relevant deals, and details each menu item’s ingredients and origin.

McDonald's mobile app

Source: TheStreet

McDonald's has adopted and incorporated digital and cultural trends into their business strategy, which has helped it to connect with customers, understand their needs, and further grow their business and marketing. As a result, it has experienced long-term success.

Early Failures Can Lead to Future Successes

The more you learn, the better. When it comes to running your business, you should view everything as learning experiences: your mistakes, successes, and competition.

For instance, Hiten Shah, co-founder of KISSmetrics (recently sold to Neil Patel), once spent 1 million dollars on a web hosting company that actually never launched. As a result of this mistake, he learned valuable investment lessons and adjusted his focus on customer satisfaction. 

Still, even after losing nearly $1 Million, he kept trying until he founded Crazy Egg, a website optimization company. Without lessons learned from his mistakes, he wouldn't have been able to design his new products to respond to exactly what customers want and need. 

Starbucks Mobile Loyalty Program Embraced Innovation and Set the Industry Standard

Today, you need to be innovative to attract audiences’ attention and retain their loyalty over time. Starbucks is an excellent example of how to reinvent your brand to meet user needs and stay ahead of the competition.

In 2008, Starbucks launched My Starbucks Idea, a community website that customers could use to share their feedback with the company. In that year alone, Starbucks received over 70,000 feedback forms from their customers.

Starbucks used customer feedback to better suit user preferences. As a result, it successfully created a robust and loyal customer following by using technology to give its customers a place where they can submit ideas and feedbacks.

Starbucks also launched its app in 2008, which some say was almost too successful. The Starbucks mobile app processed over $1.2 billion from people loading money onto their mobile Starbucks loyalty cards, which is almost double the profits the company had 3 years ago.

Overall, Starbucks stayed ahead of the competition and kept innovating its business in order to retain the customers and offer them more convenience.

Stay Updated With Global Trends and Customer Preferences to Make Your Business Last 

If you know and understand your industry and can keep up with market trends, you will experience success. To do this, it is important to observe the industry, learn how it changes, and reinvent to match those changes.

Three main ways to do this are to embrace change, keep learning, and innovate. Use these 3 strategies to help your business maintain a balance between what you need to do now and what you should do in the future.

About the Author

Pranjal Mehta

Pranjal Mehta is a technology strategist and the founder and managing director of Zealous System, which provides innovative and cutting-edge technology models and services to businesses. He has a fierce passion for technology, which is why he is deeply committed to delivering solutions to the key problems faced by startups and enterprises.