"How to make a business succeed", and "how to kill it", are often the same question. "How to make a business succeed", and "how to kill it", are often the same question.
#3366 Created 04/26/2013 Updated 04/26/2013
This board was up for a long time, and went through some changes.
Riffing off of Ken's "shock" idea as a diagnostic tool, we considered what would by the types of analysis we would do to a company, other than the normal financial and operational exams.
First, the business model, both what the company thinks it is, and what our analysis suggests it is. The two important issues are "how to make it succeed", and "how to kill it"? Both have the questions have the same goal in mind -- improve the client's company. But they are radically different approaches.
Conceptually, companies are best killed by structural changes in the market. A business model that was perfect for an opportunity in 1969 is outdated and mismatched by 1983. Car-hops at drive-in diners were replaced by drive-throughs at fast-food joints; the market changed toward speed, and business models had to adapt.
In the Web world, the pace of change is faster, and the landscape shifts presents risks for business models.
Second, the Operational Design. How does the company achieve its business goals? Is your business a game? How is it played? Do the customers think it's a game, or do they have different metaphor in mind?
Third, the customers. How is the market base defined? Do the actual customers resemble that definition? What do the customers think of the client company? How do the customers think of the client company (the mechanics of exposure), and when do they think about it? Do the customers expectations of the client company match the company's provisioning for the customers?
Fourth, the market definition. What was the concept at the beginning of the company's entry, and how has that concept changed over time? Is the market definition consistent with measurements of the actual customers? Is the way that the marketing is changing resemble the way that the business is changing?