I am (obviously) fascinated by business models. That is how you design your business to respond to the opportunity in the market.
In my mind your strategic success is determined by your business model and thinking and tinkering on your business model is more important than strategic planning - which usually perpetuates the status quo.
When we started out, we replicated the business model that worked for us running our own business in South Africa. (Consulting, Training, Mystery Shopping.)
Those three elements work well together:
- Mystery Shopping finds the problems
- Consulting identifies the solutions
- Training Implements the solutions
Over time we also added:
- A Publishing division (we have so many training resources it makes sense to sell it to other companies)
- A Technology division (we use two amazing technology platforms for eLearning and for Knowledge Management and we are registered resellers of those platforms.
But putting all of the above into an ‘elevator pitch’ becomes hard. Explaining to a CEO of a potential client what we do is not easy. In fact, whilst it may be true, it is not credible to for a small organisation like ours to be a ‘one-stop shop’.
On a more personal note; we now simply say we are business architects: if you are business with a retail presence (brand or retailer) we will design and deliver solutions to make that happen. It may or may not include training and it may or may not include technology - and so forth.
I hope our message is clearer. I hope by stripping back everything that we do to only the essentials (building businesses in a retail environment) is a better way of communicating – because it is more relevant to the needs of the intended receiver.
Emails, comments and even phone calls are welcome.