Monday, 5 March 2012

Is your hive prepared for a hostile takeover?

An interesting diversion this afternoon, watching a short video clip featuring 30 Hornets wiping out a whole hive of Honey Bees so they could eat their lavre. Nature at its rawest!

So what does this have to do with business, or caring, or any of the other topics I usually put fingers to key board over? Well read on................

Defending their hive and their young the bees were over whelmed by a bigger, stronger invader, forcing its way into their home. The insect equivalent of a hostile take over; resulting in a total asett strip; with all staff terminated and stocks liquidated?

It could equally be a metaphor for a small or local business having to defend against the arrival of a national competitor in its market place; be it physically in the local high street, or virtually on the web.

Where the business world has a big advantage over the bees of the hive is that we can put in place a range of things to make the likelihood of succeeding in defending our hive much stronger.

We can make sure we are aware of incursions into our area from potential pecuniary predators by keeping our ears to the ground. For example; attending business to business events or Chamber of Commerce meetings etc are excellent ways of getting early warnings, as are local papers and planning applications regarding changes of use. On-line checks, using search engines and appropriate terms help provide advance information of potential challenges, as can using "Google Alerts" to automatically search the web on an on going, regular, basis.

An early assessment of the likelihood of an aggressive competitor versus the reality enables us to consider what we can do to strengthen our hive. Some of the things we could do are; improving skills; additional services; stock adaptation; target market changes; marketing activity; pricing structure alterations and so forth. All of which will help us to defend our hive more effectively.

Local, small business have other things they can call on as well, these include; local knowledge, existing rapport/relationships; flexibility; a faster ability to change, etc.

In conclusion I would urge all businesses to carry out a regular review of possible hostile incursions into their locality, but also what else they can do to create an stronger defence against this, before it happens. There is an added bonus in this as well. It also makes you stronger if the threat does not materialise, helping you grow, thus you become far stronger and better able to defend any later threat - a winning position.

So please stay safe in your hive and let me know if this has made you think or better still take action.