In the 21st century global marketplace where approximately 100 million new businesses open their doors every year, making a distinct impact on the industry has become more difficult than ever due to this inherently competitive and continuously growing saturation of businesses. As such, many booming companies face the conundrum: do we try to grow slowly but safely with a low-risk business model, or aim for the stars and potentially collapse with a high-risk approach?
For Stephen Garden, a cloud services entrepreneur who successfully scaled technology consultancy Onica to $200 million in revenue and offices in twelve countries. He believed that evolving and iterating on pre-established practices is a much better path to success than exclusive invention. With firm ideals on the opportunities for modernization in the modernization of the number of traditional companies, Garden now shares its unique expertise to help guide emerging companies to realize their full potential.
What differentiates a low-risk business model from a high-risk one?
If a product or service has been successfully delivered to customers before, those are low-risk business models in my mind. Take the consulting industry for example, people have been offering expert knowledge for a fee for over 50 years. Building products that invent new markets or significantly disrupt the current way of doing things carry a much higher associated risk of successful execution.
How can companies using new technologies mitigate their risks?
Most of the world’s largest technology companies license their products for use by other companies. In many cases, you can rely on their solutions to deliver your products and services to customers. This is probably the easiest way to reduce the risk of your business model.
Is it possible to use new technologies and traditional business models simultaneously in a company’s operations?
I think that’s an amazing use case for creating competitive advantage. Many traditional organizations have been working with the status quo for so long that it never occurred to them to evolve their product line, perhaps they were previously discouraged by the high upfront costs of innovation. . Things like cloud computing have completely changed the business case for embracing new ideas.
What key aspects of the modern world should companies use to develop their potential?
Coming out of the global pandemic, I think we’re seeing a big shift in the way people want to work, not just the obvious things like remote working or flexible hours, but a bigger shift caused by a new generation entering the workforce and choosing different communication styles and cultural dynamics in the workplace.
Is it better for companies to be at the forefront of changes and have a head start on the competition, or more advantageous to see how things evolve before diving into innovations/evolutions?
I prefer second player advantage as a strategy; If that’s not possible because no one in your industry is pushing the envelope, I’m a fan of looking at ancillary models in similar industries and incorporating those concepts into your field.