Technology is often credited as the most disruptive force of the modern business world. However, there are other forces for change to which business owners should be alert.
Speaking on the My Business Podcast, Angus Kennard, the CEO of Kennards Hire, says that business owners need to keep in mind not just potential technological disruptions but also cultural ones, like the emerging 'sharing economy'.
In thinking about Kennards Hire’s future, Angus has been keeping the sharing economy – in which one individual provides a product or skill to another – in the back of his mind.
“We need to be able to plan that space and be aware of what's going on around us, so positioning ourselves for the future is going to be quite critical,” Angus says.
These changing operating frameworks have led Kennards Hire to adapt its service offering, according to Angus.
“It used to be this department on the side, and now it's the fabric of everything we do,” he says.
“We're investing a lot in technology, a lot of innovation to think about what the future looks like, and be willing to throw away a bit of money, because we're going to make mistakes and we are making mistakes, but it's about trying to set us up for the future.”
Angus believes that the sharing economy will first influence customers hiring for DIY purposes, and progress from there.
“Change is coming. It's coming and it's [about] how do we approach that? How do we think through the elements, how they're going to work? It's quite a unique challenge.”
Businesses need to be at the forefront of these changes, says Angus, to present offerings that meet the needs of customers.
“If a customer engages in a different way that's going to change how we work and how we face the customer … the experience is going to change,” he says.
“There's a deep level of sophistication to understanding customers to be able to try and replicate that.”