Great leaders focus on having a great strategy and clear execution plan. To formulate a great strategy you need:
- Perspective through Exposure: who are you competing against in your business?
- Context: What do you need to change internally to become the best?
- Capabilities and systems: what resources do you need to succeed?
The best way to get exposure is through travel or sightseeing and networking. When I go abroad, I make it a point to study the process flow and how value is created for customers, at the different businesses I come across.
In Japan for example, street restaurants create value for customers through saving them time spent queuing for food. Of course they offer a quality meal that is affordable. However, given the economy maturity, a healthy meal, served in the shortest time possible is the differentiator.
In Dubai, petrol fuelling stations are managing the cost of fraud by focusing on automating the process. They have set up fuel stations that are not manned by any person. You load your card or mobile money and you drive to the fuelling station. Park your car, pay via mobile money or online and receive a code instantly. It is exactly like you pay for your utilities like Umeme yaka here in Kampala. You put the code in the fuel dispenser. All you need is self-service, get out of your car, and point the fuel dispenser nozzle into your car fuel tank. It will dispense what you paid for and stop. The audio instructions, for which you have an option to select a male or female voice, will be a great company. Once the dispensing is complete, you put the nozzle back. Enter your car and drive off. No human contact throughout the process.
The only flip side is the feeling of insecurity and the fact that the driver must get out and do self-service. Research has shown that self-service stations are secure and cheaper.
The advantages are more than the flip sides.
The problem of fuel theft is not there. For long, people on the dispensing nozzles, cheat motorists by supplying less fuel. Some motorists who do not pay attention find they paid for many litres, only to realize the car is warning just after having fuelled. With the automatic petrol station self-service, this problem is overcome.
Next there are security guards, and cameras at the stations. In fact in the past, the staff at stations were also a source of insecurity as they tip accomplices of the state of the driver and number of people in the car. This is overcome. Above all, it is cheaper. The cost of pump price is lower due to low operating costs. With automation, losses due to theft and spillage due to human error is low.
Now to your business, what is your value addition process?
How do you reduce costs for the client? The client should be able to see value in the use of your services.
Once you do that, you will succeed. Next time you travel, visit a business that does the type of business you do and carefully examine how they add value.
Wish you a successful 2017