Look beyond existing customers


  • SMEBiz
  • Saturday, 06 Jun 2020

COMPANIES need to create value for their non-existing customers to pivot and sustain their business amidst the slow and uncertain market.

UCSI Consulting Group chief executive officer Dr Raj Kumar (pic) says that by systematically tapping non-customers, businesses will be able to move forward and create new revenue streams for the short to long-term.

“It is important to be agile. Look at our core strength to pivot and create value for new customers and capture new business while retaining existing customers. Sometimes we have to pivot the product or service, but sometimes it is also about pivoting the experience (for the customers). “Prior to Covid-19, we were always exploring our existing customers. But you have to look at your soon-to-be non-customers, people who may not be able to buy your products and services now because of the circumstances, and explore how you can create value for them, ” he says in a recent online seminar on ‘ABCs to Navigating Rough Seas’.

The seminar was organised by The Star Media Group Bhd in partnership with UCSI Consulting Group. Kumar notes that there are many companies out there that are already innovating to tap into new customer segments.

For example, F&B businesses are putting together DIY kits for home-bound consumers to prepare their own meals. This, says Kumar, ensures that these companies are able to continue serving their existing loyal customers as well as new customers that are looking for something to do at home.

“Also consider across your supply chain. This is another element to being agile. Apart from capturing non-customers, you should also look across your supply chain to pivot and get your rivals in as new revenues.

“Map out your current product and the players in your current supply chain. See if there is anyone in your supply chain that you can partner with, supply to, work with or create a revenue stream from for your existing business by being agile, ” he says.

These may include pivoting or expanding the current model from business-to-business to business-to-consumer, looking into options for original equipment manufacturing or original design manufacturing, bundling or partnerships. “You need to be agile enough to move upstream or mid and downstream. Categorise the stream you are in and ask yourself how you can create value. Look at unexplored non-customers by analysing your supply chain. You can partner and work with rivals and hunt together. Great companies are very agile to move up and down stream to explore non-customers, ” he adds.

Kumar notes that the main challenge hindering SMEs from pivoting is the lack of cash flow to support the change in the business. Additionally, most business owners are uncertain about what steps to take to make the pivot.

However, he says now is an opportune time for companies to make internal improvements and add external revenue streams so that they can continue with business post-Covid.

“There are bigger players in the supply chain and you can look at what their pain points are. Create values that they need. This will also help you play with the big boys. If you are an SME, think about how you can solve their problem, ” he says.

In conjunction with the talk, UCSI Consulting Group also introduced a micro-mobile learning platform to provide companies with an opportunity to upskill and reskill with a range of training programmes.

UCSI Consulting Group will be providing two samplers for users to experience the mobile-friendly microlearning. The two free samplers are on the topic of ‘How to Be Agile in a Disruptive World’ and ‘Leading Change in an Uncertain World’.

If you would like to find out more or to obtain the free samplers, email events@thestar.com.my.

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SME , UCSI Consulting Group

   

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