Has your business got 'five-year-old-itis'?

By: Robert Craven

Date: 25 February 2013

Has your business got 'five-year-old-it is'?/5 candles{{}}About 95 per cent of businesses I see at the moment have what I call “five-year-old-itis”.

Their problems are five years old. In the past five years, everything and nothing has changed.

About 95 per cent of businesses I see and work with are based on five-year-old business models, based on five-year-old assumptions about who the customer is, what they think they are buying and why, their competitors, and so on.

What I do know is that just about every assumption you had about how customer and consumers behave /buy/pay/talk/share/discuss/choose/receive products and services has changed. With one set of keystrokes I can tell thousands of friends what I think of you and your product (by Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Customers have always talked – but now they can talk to far more people than ever before.

My hunch is that “five-year-old-itis” is endemic nearly everywhere. Just about every start-up has been built on old-world assumptions about customers, channels and products. Just about every existing business has done little to significantly change how they do things from the heady heights of 2007.

Sure you've made some cuts, maybe sacked a few people. Sure you've cut costs, maybe even got a new logo and a new website. But, have you really had a cold, hard look at your business and been prepared to make the tough, and required decisions?

So, quick fix or real fix? The choice is yours. 

Robert Craven shows directors and owners how to grow their profits. As well as running the Directors’ Centre, he is a keynote speaker and the author of business bestseller Kick-Start Your Business.  His latest book – Grow Your Service Firm – is out now.