In a previous post , i discussed what companies can learn about customer experience from Apple. Going further i believe that companies should seek to deliver value in a broader sense than just returning increased profits or focussing only on value to shareholder. For me i believe that there are four pillars that allow retail companies to deliver true value:
The four pillars of business success
- Your business vision should have social ambition and a strong value base – This vision should be the very foundation of your business. It should define who you are and how you do things – how you make decisions in your organisation, what behaviours you exhibit, and what strategies you employ. By building strong values and creating a vision with a social ambition , you will not only improve your profitability, but you will also gain respect and trust in yoir society as a whole.
- Your business model should be one where product and price are your main differentiators against your competition – You can achieve this business model through ensuring that your company controls the entire value chain from product development and production to retail outlets.
- Market leadership supported by a balanced portfolio of markets that defines your short and long term ambitions – To help you leverage risk and prepare for future growth , you need to establish a healthy mix of mature markets and future growth markets.
- Company control by a committed owner – While this is obviously not applicable to all companies , for the many medium sized companies who are looking to grow – it is a essential criteria for success , because it will allow you a long term perspective and a greater willingness to take risks. With a committed owner, you will be able to establish your company heritage , your purpose and your strong values.
While most of these points are mostly applicable to retail, some of them – primarily the parts about visions, values and ownership structure are general enough to have relevance to any business sector.