Sometimes it pays to be small. Small companies are more nimble, more easily redirected and are able to adapt to changes in market pressures better. Bigger companies aren’t quite as light on their feet, so to speak.
Weight Watchers is the perfect example of this scenario. This industry juggernaut has struggled to keep pace the last few years, losing 75% of its stock value and over $300 million in revenue. Why? Because in a world where most people use the free diet and weight management apps on their smartphones, Weight Watchers is still trying to charge dues and get people to attend in person meetings.
To move away from an in-person model and more towards an online and app-centric model would be a big shift for a company like Weight Watchers. For a bigger company to make a dramatic shift in the company mission take a lot of careful planning and steering. They recently launched their own app, but they were late to the game since they aren’t able to react as quickly as a smaller business. Taking a page out of the entrepreneur handbook, Weight Watchers is also launching smart partnerships with companies like FitBit, which is eating into their market share.
Weight Watchers has a big challenge ahead of them. Let’s hope their management team can put their entrepreneur hats on and plan their way to a stronger future for the company.
- On February 24, 2015