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How can you make profits today while building a brighter future as well?

How can you get your company safely from here to there — when nothing holds still long enough for you to be confident you’ve found the right answers?

Pursuing a dual strategy

It’s tricky to make the transition from your existing business model to one that’s better-adapted to today’s markets and beyond.

Making big changes in any business feels very risky, and very often it is risky. But there might be a much greater risk in doing nothing.

Build a dual strategy

While you’re looking for new kinds of sales, focus relentlessly on extracting profits from your existing business.

The challenge lies in developing new kinds of sales in new ways — while you’re also dealing with the economics of your existing business. After all, your costs don’t change simply because you’ve decided it’s time to do things differently.

The Harvard Business Review offered a very useful concept for you to consider: pursuing a dual strategy.

“It can take years for a new marketing initiative to become large enough to replace the revenue from traditional sources… If your company abandons its old model, you throw away any advantage you still have.”

“Major transformations need to be two different efforts happening in parallel. One should reposition the existing business by adapting its current business model to the changing marketplace. The other should create a separate activity to develop the innovations for future growth.”

Capabilities, customers and costs

You may wish for something different, but wishing doesn’t make it so. For better or worse, you must deal with your company’s unique combination of capabilities, customers and costs. As of this moment, that’s what you’ve got and you have to deal with it as reality.

That’s why you’ve got to extract whatever profits you can from your existing business — fighting for more of the same kinds of sales, while improving the efficiency and responsiveness of your operation at the same time.

Feeding your elephants

Many CEOs complain that it feels like they’re feeding a herd of elephants every day, and it’s hard to keep up.

You do have to feed your elephants every day, but isn’t your real goal to stop running a circus altogether?

Getting out of the circus business

You do have to feed your elephants every day, but isn’t your real goal to stop running a circus altogether?

In order to get out of the circus business, you’ll have to spend some serious intellectual calories in deciding on a path for the future. And once you’ve chosen your dual strategy, you’ll have to be persistent in following both paths. They’re not in competition  — as long as you allocate each pathway the resources it needs — starting with the time and attention you’ll have to spend in ensuring that things remain on track.

Why not get started on finding a new path that works for you and your company?

Pursuing a dual strategy sounds complicated and maybe even a little confusing, but it’s not. In fact, it will create a welcome sense of clarity as you move ahead, while protecting what you already have.


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