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Why Past Success is No Longer an Indication of Future Success

May 23, 2017

It’s tempting to rely on a good track record and consistent historical results in any field, but businesses are especially prone to equating past success and future performance. Any financial institution or investment broker understands that a long track record of good results is a good predictive tool, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of performance potential. In today’s business world, you will find countless examples of a solid business model failing in the new world of volatility and upheaval. In this article, we’ll walk you through a few reasons why you can’t rely on your past success to guide your future performance.

Business Cycles, Transformative Change, and Your Business

Like most industries, background check businesses experience cyclical trends and volatility in terms of overall economic metrics surrounding unemployment, real estate, and seasonality. Savvy business owners have learned to react and adapt to changing conditions. Weathering the storm is part of the job. The new reality of economics and business cycles means that your profits are more volatile than ever. Look at some of the most popular mobile apps today. Many of these billion dollar software companies (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) didn’t exist ten years ago. Just think of all of those previously successful business owners and established companies displaced by new entrants to the market. Past success offers no guarantees in the disruptive and transformative world of commercial competition these days.

Prediction, Performance, and Profits

Although it is human nature to find comfort in reliable, reproducible, and consistent trends, it’s often a trap that leaves you vulnerable to sudden shocks. Your competitors and new players to the market are waiting to seize your market share with new technologies, innovative solutions, and transformative products. With the ubiquity of smartphones and pervasive wireless broadband internet, the possibilities (and potential threats) are limitless. Nearly every corner of the business community is watching the world change rapidly around them. It’s no longer enough to develop a good business model, implement your plan, and sit back as the profits roll in. Companies big and small are actively pursuing your customers, your territory, and your earnings potential. It’s up to you to find new ways to predict and adapt to changing business conditions. Past success is something to build on and get your foot in the door, but it’s not good enough to rely on doing business the same old way. New competition and innovative business models are a constant threat in today’s cutthroat economic conditions.

Use the Past. Don’t Rely on It.

If you enjoy success with a good team and a solid business plan, you ought to be proud because you know that results come from hard work and good planning. Unfortunately, you can’t sit back and rest without risking your continued success in business. Your competitors want your clients, your suppliers want your profits, and your employees want a raise. The pressure is immense, and it’s tempting to celebrate when you enjoy healthy profits and a dominant position in the market. Don’t rest on your laurels. It’s all too easy to get comfortable after a bit of success. Build on your strengths and focus on continuous improvement. Strive to make sure you keep your eye out for new ways to promote and expand your business. Are you staying current with industry trends? Do you invest in R&D with an eye to the future? Are you aware of the latest pressures in the background check industry? Are you experiencing transformational change in the market? It’s up to you to stay ahead. No one is safe in the brave new world of market disruption and constant upheaval across all industries. Even the biggest companies in the world like banks, automakers, oil & natural gas have to contend with serious threats from smaller, more nimble, and innovative players that threaten their market dominance and perennial profits.

Now is the time to dig into your business model and examine your vulnerabilities and opportunities. Today’s entrepreneurs are just waiting for the right moment to turn industry complacency upside-down. The new business environment demands constant vigilance and an eye on the horizon to stay ahead of new market entrants and technological innovations that are threats to your profits and client base.

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