In today’s highly competitive, fast-paced business environment, virtually every single market faces disruption, with even the disrupters facing challenges from even more aggressive new market entrants.

It’s an environment where no business can afford to stand still. And according to Paul Schroder, Group Executive for Product, Brand and Reputation at AustralianSuper, it’s a challenge many businesses are not addressing adequately.

“Conditions are changing rapidly and some Australian businesses are not changing fast enough to keep up.”

“As soon as consumers can auction anything online, either as a buyer or a seller, then the whole nature of an organisation and what the organisation brings is open to a new interpretation”, he says.

Those that don’t start looking to the future risk losing the connection with the customer by failing to innovate. Other risks include growing too fast and overestimating the market.

So how to avoid falling into these traps?

Head of Deloitte’s Superannuation Practice, Russell Mason, says great business owners share common attributes.

“They know their customers and they know their market, both their market segment and their product.”

“On top of this, they surround themselves with the right people, they’re willing to be different so they can differentiate their offering, they understand the risks they face and are willing to take them,” he explains.

Finding diversity of thought

Mason believes people can acquire the skills to be a successful business owner.

“It’s important to get the right advice and be willing to learn”.

“Having great skills isn’t a destination, it’s a journey, so surround yourself with people who can give you diversity of thought,” he advises.

Other tips from Mason include networking with people who can challenge you and working in an entrepreneurial environment.

Being a super business

Putting employees’ happiness and engagement as a cornerstone of business can have a number of benefits to business. In this context, helping employees keep on top of their super is a great way for businesses to add value to the relationship.

“I think business leaders should think of super like this: super will most likely be the biggest asset or the second biggest asset in the lives of their employees over the course of their lives.

“The second thing is that superannuation will be very significant to the Australian economy as a source of funds for investments that benefit the country as a whole.

“The third thing, which business owners often forget, is their own super as an important part of their own retirement planning. Many small business owners will be hoping and expecting that the sale of their small business will be able to fund their retirement, and often that’s not the case.”