By Patrick Kuwana
One of the key things that will result in our businesses growing in tough times is introducing what we call disruptive business models. These models look at the industry that we operate in and seeing how we can do things differently to other players in that market.
A critical element is to analyse our business model. Do we really understand what the key elements of our business model are? Do we really understand how we are selling and generating a profit with that business model?
Another element is the supply chain. Have we clearly mapped out the supply chain within our industry? Do we really know which elements of that supply chain generate profit margins?
Look at McDonald's. McDonald's is not really making its money from selling hamburgers. McDonald's is really in the business of real estate. That is primarily where the value of the McDonald's business is coming from. Likewise, a business like KFC participates in the value chain in terms of dealing directly with the farmers and the suppliers. For them, the value chain is where they get the real value and the real profitability from. What is your true business model? What is your supply chain model? Have you extracted the maximum value out of that supply chain?
Another area we should look at is what is called "SEL". It stands for Service, Excellence and Love. What is our service like? What is the quality of service to our customers, or even internally within our organisation? Are we doing everything at a high level of Excellence? Lastly, the L stands for Love. Are we providing our service in Love, understanding that each person we have contact with is an opportunity to treasure them and add value to their lives?
If we look at our business models, if we look at our supply chain model, if we do everything that we do in Service, in Excellence, in Love and if our business strategy is built upon these elements, we can really begin to build a business that can thrive and prosper and be very profitable - even in tough times.