TVs, smartphones and even cars in the bank. Cash in checkout lines Supermarket. Corners of all kinds in business establishments. cross selling with discounts Y promotions. Everyone sells everything and the traditional borders of sectors and business areas are blurring. The diversification is intense in some companies, although it is still strongly associated with Big company and the business groups. What does he respond to? Does it reach the SME? Can you sell everything?
Martin Vivancos, marketing professor at EADA Business Schoolexplains that «there is a transformation of business models from the moment you realize that you have the most importantwhat is a customer base». It is the path that companies like amazon either Netflixborn as one bookstore and a online video storeand that they have undertaken financial entities, oil companies Y telephone operators.
“If you have the data and the buying behavior of your customers, you can sell more things”
Martin Vivancos, EADA Business School
«If you have the data and the purchasing behavior of your customers -continues Martín Vivancos, from EADA-, from here you can sell more things. Amazon Web Service it’s data management, and it’s the biggest part of Amazon’s profits.”
“We are in a moment of big data -this EADA professor insists-, to find out more about interests, forecast purchases and make proposals. These models will evolve. When the scale is reduced to the level of small and medium-sized companies, however, “I think that it can also be done, but that it is not being done”, analyzes Martín Vivancos.
“You have to work – he explains – with Small and Smart Data. Segment the customer portfolio, using a crms to manage it, it is something totally feasible and that any company can do». From then on, “one thing is what I do and another is what I know how to do”.
This marketing expert gives an example: “A company that makes screws, and that thinks about how it can compete with an Asian company that manufactures millions of screws at a lower cost, may decide, for example, to manufacture screws for dental implants, which cost much more, because it is capable of making very high quality screws. Many times, what we need is to change the question: ‘And why couldn’t we do this?‘».
Angel Hermosilla, Director of the Economy and Business area of Pimecanalyzes the moment: «We have no information that [esta tendencia a la diversificación y a la búsqueda de nuevas líneas de negocio] much more intense now than it was a while ago. A company, when it sees the opportunity, takes advantage of it, and that happens by diversifying within the area in which it is. What is certain is that, at a time of so many changes like the one we have been experiencing for two years, there are many opportunitiesand companies are taking advantage of them.”
“At a time of so many changes there are many opportunities, and companies are taking advantage of them”
Angel Hermosilla, Pimec
«This is the case -exemplifies Àngel Hermosilla- of someone who is in the restoration with an establishment, and who with the pandemic has entered the delivery, or also that of all those businesses that have now entered online sales. Or those who were in a technical textile company and saw the opportunity to manufacture masks. But always, in all cases, within their sector, as a response to the crisis or as an opportunity».
This Pimec spokesperson also agrees that “all over the world, the most important thing today is technology and the client portfolio”, which are the basis on which these opportunities are identified and taken advantage of. “Everything that surrounds the digital world is an opportunity, even when it has been forced. The other issue is health. Everything that involves health has created many opportunities, which companies are taking advantage of and which have become interesting areas.”
There is also competitive advantages that before were only in the hands of large companies -continues Àngel Hermosilla- and that now they are available to SMEs. Now there are mechanisms, for example, that allow you to enter the Asian market very easily, even without leaving home. Digital tools make it possible to cover this gap compared to the big companies, and even do more than them”.
SMEs today have in Small and Smart Data the main knowledge base to detect and take advantage of new business opportunities with which to diversify
«Use -reasons Àngel Hermosilla- It already depends on the culture of the SME, and in this case it is much more agile, flexible and responsive. SMEs have the ability to adapt to the market, with a flexibility that large companies do not have, looking for partners, collaboration agreements, alliances… Networking is quite widespread, and SMEs are clear about it and have long known does”.
mercedes teruel, Director of the Chair for the Promotion of Business Innovation at the Rovira i Virgili University (URV)analyzes the phenomenon: «The tendency to enter other sectors, selling products not related to the main activity, is strategy to have benefits that have surely been lostas is the case, for example, with banks selling alarms. Another thing is that the phenomenon can be extrapolated to SMEs».
«If the companies are very small -reasons Mercedes Teruel-, increase the portfolio of the goods and products they offer is also to increase control and management tasks and costsAnd not everyone can do it. That said, it highlights “a trend towards servitization, where product manufacturers offer a parallel service to the sale of a certain product.”
There is a trend towards servitization, with manufacturers offering parallel services
This economist also agrees that «there must always be some consistency in the products and services you offer because, if not, you can have a heterogeneous product that doesn’t quite fit. When you have some clients that you can control, with information on their preferences, you can always sell to them, although I am not so sure that the small company can do it all by itself».
«The alternative -continues Mercedes Teruel- is that SMEs look for alliances collaborating with other companies. Here collaborations that are beneficial for both companies come into play. The recommendation is to look for alternatives as long as they are done in a reasonable way and with a feasibility study, with innovation strategies to adapt to changes in demand or technological changes, but always with a study of the potential and how to cover the risks”.
Everything can be a business opportunity, while the borders between sectors are diluted
Martín Vivancos, from EADA, agrees with this vision: «Beyond the associations, the pymes they haven’t quite taken the next step in establishing alliances, They should look for certain synergies, both in the business model and in customer needs».
And he insists: «You must not give what people do not value or appreciate, and that is why it is important to know your client. Many intuit, suppose they know it, but few really do. Because one thing is that they come to buy you, and another is that you have to sell. In a moment of crisis, companies will have to get their act together, and if there is something unstoppable, it is the process of digital transformation. And, within this, data management, which today is unstoppable and is a means to sell».
«There must always be some consistency in the products and services you offer»
Mercedes Teruel, URV
“Those companies – insists Martín Vivancos – that interpret it later, will suffer more, and the crisis we are in and is yet to come will bring us a process of natural selection in which many companies will suffer or fall by the wayside”.
«In SMEs -summarizes Mercedes Teruel, from the URV-, the problem is that due to their small size they have fewer resources, but they are also more flexible. Now, with the macroeconomic tensions and the uncertainties due to the Covid crisis, either they adapt with their product and processes or they will face very high internal pressures. There is room for them to go down this road, and there is room to harness the data. It is key to have a good use of resources and explore them knowing the possibilities to do so».