If you don’t like change, don’t become and entrepreneur. All successful entrepreneurs know that business is fluid – it ebbs and flows, but one thing remains constant…change. A very wise friend of mine once said, “innovate or die.”
Most people are afraid of change. The status quo is comfortable and there is a certain amount of well-being that comes with familiarity. The problem is change is constant, whether or not you want it to be, which is why it is important to embrace it and learn to adapt.
In my career I have seen many successful businesses that failed to innovate, die. In the late 90s I was hired to build an e-commerce division for a chain of retail shoe stores. I was up to the task and jumped in with both feet. The company’s online sales skyrocketed and I had to pull inventory from the brick and mortar stores to fill the ever increasing amount of orders. This change created chaos with the store managers because, all of a sudden, they didn’t have enough inventory to meet their sales objectives. The owner never expected me to be successful. He wanted to be able to say he tried e-commerce and it failed, but I am not good at failing. When the sales of the e-commerce department eclipsed one of his brick and mortar stores, the owner did the unexpected – he fired me. He was afraid of the change that e-commerce brought to his business because he didn’t know anything about it. He was an expert at traditional retail, but this was a new frontier and because he wasn’t ready for it, he shut down the entire department.
I followed his business over the next several years. He opened new brick and mortar stores and appeared to be doing well. I knew that it was only a matter of time before Amazon and Zappos.com put him out of business, but I am certain he was unaware of the impending doom. It took ten years, but he was eventually forced out of business simply because he failed to change and adapt to the new market. The ironic thing is, had he let me, or someone else, continue to grow his e-commerce department, I am certain he would still be in business today.
Like the shoe industry, the magazine and print industries are also changing and evolving. Contrary to what most think, print is far from dead. However, if you attempt to run a publishing business the “old school” way, you are doomed to fail which is why many newspapers and magazines go out of business every year. Advertising doesn’t work the way it once did. We live in a media saturated world and people have learned to ignore most mass marketing. If you are a business owner you have probably encountered this first hand. The question you’ve undoubtedly asked yourself is, “how do I get people to change their routine and do business with me?”. The answer is somewhat simple – you change the way you have been doing things and assimilate your strategy to the ever changing digital landscape. This is a topic that could fill the pages of many books, but I bring it up because it is the reason we have shifted our strategy and are changing the name of our magazine from Savor Cuenca to CuencaGO.
We have discovered, watching other local magazines, that people aren’t interested in magazines in the traditional sense any longer. We live in a fast paced world and people want information immediately without expending much energy to get it. This is the reason mobile phones, tablets and apps have replaced computers. This is also the reason we have changed our strategy and are going to deliver valuable information in a digest magazine format that we will integrate with a robust website and an mobile app that will change the way most people acquire their information about local businesses, venues and events. CuencaGO, will be the only resource you need to make decisions about where you are going to shop, where you are going to eat, where you are going to travel, what events you are going to attend and how you are going to save money while doing all of these things. By “plugging into” the “CuencaGO information machine”, you will be ahead of the curve in regards to everything going on in and around the city. Our goal is to become the trusted authority on all things Cuenca.
Change is good and with that in mind we have been developing this new concept for several months now. We are excited to be bringing it to fruition and we have some exciting plans that include events, group travel and cutting-edge marketing designed to benefit you as much as the businesses doing the advertising. We understand by creating a win-win suite of services where everyone benefits equally, our business will be in a better position to prosper.
CuencaGO, your gateway to the city.