The theme for this week was why companies cannot stay on top all the time. We saw examples of big organizations like IBM and Microsoft that have survived through a lot of ups and downs; they constantly evolved and moved to different areas to keep their stronghold. Let us see smaller companies that have also followed this principle and as a result survived through the years.
Sentinel Printing: This printing firm has been in the industry for 150 years. It started off as a small news printing firm in the barn and now has evolved to digital printing. It constantly evolved and innovated while staying focused on its core strength. "If we didn't evolve ... we probably would have been out of business," President. Sentinel caters to all kinds of clients, local dentists to big printing firms. Another lesson to be learnt is that it did not restrict itself to a certain type of clients.
Bavarian Inn: Started in 1888, Bavarian inn is a family owned inn that still attracts a lot of customers. The reason it has lasted so long is because it has been innovating constantly. "You just got to keep trying things and seeing what works and maybe not spend too much money on it initially," Owner of Bavarian inn. Also, Bavarian inn was aware of what its customers wanted. It kept up with the market demands, for instance it just installed a water park that attracts a lot of customers.
Pete and Gerry's organics: Started after world war 2 , this egg farm has grown over the years. It went through a lot of transformations. They shifted their customers from small industries to larger chains. They differentiated themselves by not caging any chickens, which was the trend during the time of its inception. They have adopted technology to spread awareness about their company.
Lessons to be learnt from these firms:
1. Keep evolving and innovating.
2. Be aware of the market demands.
3. Focus on your core strengths.
These three simple principles have allowed these firms to survive for more than a 100 years, and bigger companies have also followed these rules.