Have you ever wondered how some companies outperform others, or why a business model thriving in one market falls short in another? As employees, we often operate within established or proven business models without questioning their efficacy, uniqueness, or the challenges they might encounter. Although pondering these questions might not be in our job description, indulging in such reflections can be enlightening, even if they seem naive.
Understanding Customer Needs
Firstly, a product’s success hinges on its ability to meet customer needs. This might sound elementary, but individuals often see what they want to see. Founders and innovators, in particular, might be prone to confirmation bias, acknowledging only the information that aligns with their beliefs. To maintain objectivity, it’s crucial to actively seek disconfirming evidence and monitor the performance of competitor companies. Are they flourishing or barely staying afloat?
In the realm of Consumer Lending, where I am employed, essential resources encompass talent, data, sales channels (traffic), and legal compliance (licensing). A successful operation requires skilled personnel in risk management, marketing, and operations, reliable data for user risk evaluation, robust channels for customer engagement, and adherence to legal standards and regulations.
Efficiency in producing superior products at lower costs is non-negotiable. This involves leveraging technology and creating the right incentives for workers. Technological advancements not only enhance the tools at our disposal but also necessitate continuous adaptation and innovation on our part. Furthermore, appropriate incentives are vital in fostering a motivated and productive workforce, preventing laziness, and averting potential harm to the business.
A business that cannot break even after years of operation is unsustainable and, logically, should cease to exist. A venture must make economic sense to justify its continuation in the market.
Envision a business as a dynamic machine. This machine necessitates initial inputs, and ongoing enhancements in efficiency, and it must ultimately yield more value than it expends. Approaching business with this analogy in mind provides clarity to crucial inquiries: Why should a company exist in the first place? The justification for its existence is multi-faceted: there is demonstrable demand for its offerings; it has access to unique or secured resources essential for production; it operates with superior efficiency compared to competitors; and crucially, it creates more value than it consumes.