I have just spent 10 days walking around London and the English countryside. Even in the most obscure places, you find that somebody is shouting out an interesting message about their business.
On one particular day, my wife and I strolled for miles, through forests, up and down rolling grassy hilltops. And then we unexpectedly came out to a clearing to be greeted by a coffee house, doing a roaring lunchtime business. Home made pies and cakes, at seemingly reasonable prices. About the only thing they had not sold out of was coffee and tea.
This was not ‘passing-by’ custom. People had deliberately come here.
The reason I mention this is that on my first day back, apart from writing this blog, I have to give a talk on creating a winning business model. So as a Jerusalem-based business mentor and coach, let me just offer two insights that came my way, while on holiday.
We found a place to stay in London, using Booking.com. Great location in the city, the one room studio looked inviting on the website, even alluding to a balcony where you could sit outside. In fact, the entrance hall smelt of damp, the doors creaked, the fan in the bathroom sounded as if it was about to launch with NASA, and I could go on.
We will complain. The place will be graded accordingly. However, compare all that to the small flat that some friends of mine place on Airbnb. Their location in Israel is residential, neither close to business nor tourist centres, and yet they have an over 80% occupancy rate.
Why? Because they care about their customers. They have placed much thought into why people want to stay in such a lodging. As I suggested a few weeks ago, they have considered, in depth, why people want to buy.
We also discovered that travelling to and from Luton Airport is never a problem. Their are several buses an hour, multiple routes, 24/7, at amazingly attractive rates. You wonder how taxis can compete? They do. I know of one person who specializes in customers to and from Israel. His fees are a touch less than his competitors, but still way above those charged by the buses.
And how does he ‘get away with it’? His car is clean. He turns up punctually. He is polite. It is a service worth paying a bit extra for.
Meanwhile, the bus service from the airport in Israel to Jerusalem is not brilliant. For decades, one taxi service has dominated the roads. The shuttle fills up with ten people and then drives off. If you speak to their offices in Jerusalem, you are often left with that feeling of wonder what you have done to annoy them.
My wife and I waited for 50 minutes on last Friday morning – after an overnight flight – for the driver to pull out. He insisted on hanging around until his vehicle was full. He claimed that the rules allowed him to wait a full hour.
And as we were sitting there, helpless and clinging on to the last piece of patience we could muster, and waiting for others to pile aboard, many other travelers sauntered by with their luggage on their trolleys. You see, they were heading for the new railway line from the airport…to Jerusalem. Clean, still getting over a few teething problems, and none of the ‘unsubtle driving techniques’ of Israeli taxi services.
Your business model is often the base for an executive summary. Guess which model above would and would not appear to have a future. Be specific in your reasoning. And then, work out how these answers will have you summarise your business to a prospect.