What You Can Learn From Hyundai (That Can Change Your Business)

Last year, I bought a Hyundai. It’s the first one I’ve ever owned. It’s shiny and black and I love it. But as pleased as I am with my new car, there was a time when I wouldn’t have given Hyundai serious consideration.

In fact, Hyundai was once known as being an ideal car for buyers on a tight budget and unconcerned with bells and whistles.

Not anymore.

I’ve had several cars in my life — a couple of Ford F150s, a Mustang GT, a Jeep Cherokee, and a Honda Accord. I liked the Accord so much that it became my default choice when it came time to trade.

Over the years, Honda and Toyota developed reputations for producing affordable, high-quality vehicles. They became powerhouses in the industry, known for building dependable cars that gave you more bang for the buck.

In the meantime, Hyundai plodded along. Determined to compete, they eventually found their niche in the marketplace by embracing what they were — economic. To attract potential buyers, they made aggressive decisions like offering a ten year warranty. Still, they carried the moniker of cheap and were mocked by their competition.

Then, not long ago, something changed.

More people started buying cars from Hyundai. The quality was comparable to the products being sold by industry leaders and the prices were competitive. Most of all, Hyundai redesigned their cars to look good.

Quality, price, and looks?

Where do I sign?

As its competitors enjoyed success, Hyundai continued to improve. They put themselves on a level playing field with companies that were once considered superior. And they did it by adjusting, working smart, and taking chances.

Hyundai stayed focused on the goal and how they wanted to reach it. They learned from the competition, continued to improve, and ignored what was being said about them. They knew they wouldn’t lag forever.

Whether you own a business, are a startup, or making your way up the ladder, you can take the same principles Hyundai used and apply them to your success. Here’s how:

1. Adjust: As with any venture, making adjustments is critical to success. But it’s surprising that many businesses know changes are needed, yet allow stubbornness (or laziness) to prevail. If changes need to be made in your business, make them. You can’t afford not to.

2. Work smart: Sometimes addition by subtraction is good. That means you may need to hire an administrative assistant to help you at the office or shell out the extra money for an online service that will boost sales down the road. Reach out to other experts who can help you explore new ways of doing things. The key is to optimize what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.

3. Take chances: Taking some risk can push your business to the next level, but it doesn’t have to be as risky as jumping off a cliff. Maybe you have a good feeling about something but need confirmation to take the leap. Maybe you’ll have to invest some money when times are tight. Or, maybe your gut is telling you to go in the opposite direction of conventional wisdom. Whatever it is, think it through and talk it over with a few people whose opinions you trust. Then, step into it with confidence, pull the trigger, and don’t look back.