On Startup Saviors

by Chris Lake December 19, 2015
December 19, 2015

Our business landscape is being revolutionised like never before.

Online purchasing has changed the game and any company that does not have a multi-channel offering will slowly die.

The speed of change and resulting inflexibility, especially from large companies, has left former powerhouse retailers struggling to adjust.

We need only look at the likes of Macy’s in the US or Morrison’s in the UK to see what difference a few years can make. Failure to perceive and then acknowledge competition factors has cost them hundreds of millions.

In an effort to preserve margins and streamline costs, many employers have cut jobs and been left with a multitude of empty office and retail space in their portfolio.

Unless sold, this unused space will continue to be a drain on their bottom line, but could it also be their saviour?

We are seeing an increasing trend for tech companies to encourage start-ups and entrepreneurs to use their offices spaces for free. They realise that by doing this, they may well stimulate their own environment to be more creative.

In effect they are creating ‘business labs’ for the future, with a host of benefits :

    1.  Access to bright thinkers.
    2. Potential collaboration opportunities.
    3.  Being at the cutting edge of the start-up scene.
    4. Future managerial prospects.

Could these large retailers radicalise their own business by adopting the same strategy? And create a phoenix from the flames in the process?

By hosting a range of start-up businesses in their now bloated HQ’s, they would be sowing seeds for a much more agile future, and potentially rescue their business from further decline.

Incubators and entrepreneur hubs commonly have tech, marketing, and creative industries using their space – exactly the type of businesses that any forward thinking companies need access to. The ability to build long term relationships with the start-ups may well lead to a more innovative and cost-efficient future.

It gives any hosting business, ‘in-house’ access to some of the local areas thought leaders, and can reinvigorate existing management.

The PR opportunity is also positive. Being seen as a company that ‘gives back’ and helps the community may just drive extra loyalty among customers, breaking down perceived corporate barriers in the process.

This article was originally posted at digitaldock, and has been republished with permission.

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