Staying Ahead of the Trends Puts Companies in the Lead (Part 2)


Columbus Dispatch
CONTACT: Jeff an Marc Slutsky
Street Fighter, Inc.
Web Address:

Staying Ahead of the Trends Puts Companies in the Lead (Part 2)

Columbus, OH, April 17, 2001
A number of powerful trends are affecting business today, and a successful business must be able to anticipate and adapt to changes in the marketplace. Many of those changes are taking place outside the business world but are affecting what goes on inside.

C. Britt Beemer and Robert L. Shook, coauthors of It Takes a Prophet to Make a Profit, have identified a number of those trends and explain how they are providing opportunities, particularly for businesses focusing on service.

They include:

  • A lack of discretionary time: With less time to comparison shop, consumers are limiting choices to those stores they know will carry the correct sizes and colors and have adequate stocks of sale items.
  • Dual-income families are becoming single-income families: This has created opportunities for telecommuting, part-time work and home-operated businesses. As a result, there also is an increased demand for home-improvement centers such as Home Depot. With one income, families shop more in discount stores.
  • Today's marketing efforts are not keeping pace with changing consumer demands: Today's consumers want to do business with companies that listen to their needs offering such conveniences as a hassle-free return policy or making sure that advertised merchandise is in stock. Those companies that ask customers for their feedback, such as Lillian Vernon, are rewarded by a loyal customer base.

So, given these and other trends, what can you do in your business to make sure you're not left behind? Today's consumers cherish time and want convenience, but don't be misled. Although they view themselves as bargain shoppers, today's consumers are, in fact, value shoppers.

Your customers know when a product or service is worth their time and money --and when it isn't. So you should ask yourself a number of questions to make sure your product or service is worth their time:

  • Does your store have the selection they want every time?
  • Is their shopping time well-invested?
  • Is this store or brand indispensable to them?
  • Is this store or brand indispensable to them?

Jeff and Marc Slutsky are executives with Street Fighter, a Columbus-based training organization that helps small businesses generate more business on a tight budget. Their web site is

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