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Adaptability of Your Business = Sustainability of Your Business

You might have read news stories recently with headlines like: “Apple Stock is Down!” or “Apple Enters a Dark Period” or even something as dramatic as “Is The iPhone Dead?” If you clicked through to read those articles, you’d probably be relieved to find out that, no, everything at Apple is mostly fine. The cause for alarm, however is where the dip came from: an unexpected dip in iPhone sales – historically, their hottest selling product.

No one will argue that a $5 billion difference is chump change; but for one of the most successful and innovative businesses on the planet, it would seem they’re as equipped as anyone to navigate the dip in revenue.

So how does this relate to you? Well, it’s a lesson an adapting to your marketplace.

The iPhone isn’t just a good product; you can’t overstate how groundbreaking and revolutionary this product is. It has defined a generation. However, for the first time since 2007, there is a touch of uncertainty in the future of the product. Again - if there’s any company that can figure this sort of thing out, it’s Apple.

Industry insiders suggest that it could be a byproduct of other phones (namely, Androids) gaining popularity, and the rising costs of the higher trim models of the newest iPhones. Other suggest that consumer attitudes toward smartphones in general has changed.

As technology for phones has advanced, the cost has increased, therefore consumers are more likely now to hang onto their phone for longer, rather than upgrade as soon as a new model is released.

Experts are wary of the fact that Apple’s iPhone business model might have been too reliant on consumers who already have the product buying newer versions - that’s a business model that relies entirely on incentivizing people to buy when they don’t need to. That’s hard. It relies on continued innovation, and some argue that over the last few years, the iPhone (and the smartphone industry in general) has slowed as far as attention-getting innovations.

Either way, this large scale problem for one of the biggest businesses in the world can serve as an interesting example for you and your small business. As a small business owner, you should be continuing to evaluate the market of the industry you’re in, and you should be prepared to adjust what you offer depending on how consumers behave.

Like Netflix, even highly successful business can hit snags that might have been prevented if they paid closer attention to the viability of what they offer. Some experts point to the emergence of 5G mobile networks as an area Apple has seemingly ignored; while other smartphone companies have readily offered that new phones will be compatible with the new, quicker network. Maybe, had they seen this developing, they could have gotten out in front of it and avoided this downturn.

So ask yourself: what do you offer as a small business?

And how can you make sure you continue to innovate to stay competitive? If business is going well for you, then that’s good news!

But never lose the desire to improve and the ability to adapt and anticipate changes that could end with your business hitting a wall.

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