So you want to set up a successful business

At the end of the day, when somebody approaches a business mentor for help, they are usually saying: “Pls Mr Genie, turn me into a big success”. I suppose that if life were that simple, then the Genie would probably not be in the supporting role but making mega bucks for him or herself.

What prompted this blog was the fact that last night I hit upon on a new powerpoint presentation on LinkedIn, which dealt with the theme of “business success”. I apologise for losing the link, but I did print two of the 42 slides.

Slide 12 noted that neither technology nor a product creates core value. It is the “business model” that makes the difference. And slide 14 refers to four questions, which together help to formulate a successful model:

  • What excites your customers?
  • How do you create value for your customers?
  • How do you earn money?
  • Who is on your team and what values do you pursue?

All very nice in theory. Then bright and early this morning, in walked a client, who could not fathom why a change in her strategy, which had been so effective to date, had evoked a zero response. She was in no mood for long analyses.

So we explored if the new approach was likely to appeal to the clientele. Not only did this barely receive a moderate answer, it was clearly evident that the customers would now receive no major benefit. In fact, my client realised that she had compromised her own vision in order to secure the new direction. So it should not have come as a surprise that there was to be no new revenue stream.

Overall result; a massive victory for the owner of the presentation and an interesting lesson for my client – but a lesson from which we can all learn.

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