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创业前心慌慌,该怎么办?

Annabelle Vultee 2019年03月05日

永远以客户为先,而不是急着对竞争对手作出快速响应,这才能促成成功的商业模式转型。

在想要开展全新商业模式前,你都需要了解什么呢?

伴随着新竞争者的闪亮登场,每个人都开始谈论着他们的新业务。你也开始有些惴惴不安,心痒难耐,心想,我要赶快调整状态,跟上他们的节奏,要不然就被落下了!

别急,先冷静下。我承认,创新与科技的高速发展意味着我们需要对正在发生的变化保持敏锐的感知力。但我们要明确的是,我们改变的正确方向应该始终基于客户,而非竞争对手。

得益于社交媒体的火热,每个人都像拥有了一个“扩音器”。消息灵通的消费者们希望全球其他地方的人都和他们一样了解一家公司及其产品的优劣。这意味着,现在的消费者比以往任何时期都更具有选择的掌控权。因此不要因为害怕落后竞争对手就掉入新商业模式的陷阱。要知道,你今天提供的产品,消费者明天可能也依旧需要。

从业务角度而言,客户是这个世界上最重要的人,所以一定要了解他们的想法,包括了解他们对新功能、定价和产品的反应。好消息是,在许多情况下,你不需要花一分钱去做这些事。巧妙地运用别人投入的费用和精力就能了解到你的客户看重哪些价值、愿意为哪些事情花钱以及他们的生活方式如何。简而言之,将竞争对手的“入场表现”视为一次免费的市场调研。但请记住,新手并不可能在第一次就把一切做好。所以在你追随有着大量资本支持但却对如何获利一无所知的“行业先锋”之前,先问自己如下几个问题,并在做出像商业模式转型这样的巨大决定之前,认真思考这些问题。

1. 我们为何要推出新的商业模式?

2. 我们应该何时推出新的商业模式?

3. 我们应该如何发展新的商业模式?

为何要考虑一种新的商业模式?

有四个因素会需要让你考虑新的商业模式。首先,如果你的成本结构可能急剧上升或下降,那就是时候考虑转型了。在考虑新的商业模式时,请仔细思索产品或服务的内容以及如何盈利。以航空公司为例,他们都曾在航班上提供餐食,允许乘客携带多件行李,并免费选择座位。而现在大多数航空公司已经不再提供一揽子服务的票价了,他们只卖净价的机票,在此基础上你需要重新自选你所需要的额外服务——当然最终的价格要比他们之前提供的票价贵得多。航空业采用了提供更多灵活性来提高价格的商业模式。这是因为随着航空公司的业务成本上升,顾客们的支付意愿却逐渐下降。面临着替代飞行的多种出行选择,航空公司不得不将业务转向客户买得起、同时航空公司也负担得起的基础飞行服务。

其次,如果你能够提供更优质、更实惠的客户体验或价值来让企业保持市场竞争力并获得成长,那就放手去做吧。第三,如果有新的且具备吸引力的可替代产品可用于业务中,那你也应该开始计划新的商业模式。最后,如果监管机制改变了你所在行业的开放性或竞争力,你别无选择,只能探寻新的销售方式和业务。几十年来一直拥有一种商业模式的行业,其基础是严格的长期合同、许多限制以及高价格服务——其业务成本随着规模的扩大而下降,但这种商业模式已经是时候改变了。电信行业就是一个很恰当的例子。计算长途电话、短信、漫游和数据的月度移动电话账单的旧模式是基于每次呼叫、每兆流量、每条文本消息或每分钟漫游。此外,你还必须签署一份长期合同,其中条款包含更换运营商需支付高额转换费(比如丢失了电话号码)。而现在,大多数电信公司为无限量的国内电话、短信、数据漫游提供统一打包价格,你也可以在一个月内换到另一家运营商,甚至可以保留原运营商的电话号码。可以说,电信行业面临了以上四个应开启商业模式转变的因素。所以,他们别无选择,只能做出改变。

何时考虑新的商业模式?

当你准备好通过有着更高性价比、更好的适应性和服务性的产品来提升客户的生活质量时,这就是时候做出转变了。全新科技、“行业新人”的好点子、市场监管的增强、更多的选择以及成本结构的变化都可以成为商业变革的推动力。当这些条件出现时,你应该领先一步为转型做好准备。但是,如果你要对竞争对手的好点子作出回应,则要记住你需要时间来评估其发布的新点子哪些部分是有价值的,哪些不是。如果回应太快,你将在复制他们成功的同时,也复制了失败,而这两点对你都没有什么好处。多一点耐心,你便可以收获成果却不必品尝他们失误的苦涩。时机就是一切——无论你是否先下手为强。要注意的是,不要过度等待或想把事情做到尽善尽美。相信我,你不可能在一开始就将每一件事都做到完美,但是一旦准备好了90%,无论如何都要放手一搏。你可以在过程中不断收集更多信息并及时做出调整。

如何开发新的商业模式?

选择一种方法论来指引你并制定出一份完整的发展蓝图。我很乐于用设计思维方法来为商业模式转换做规划,因为它适用于多种情境,而且完全围绕着客户展开。最成功的商业变革通常实现了三件事:它们让你的客户更快乐、员工更愉悦、业务更壮大。因此,选择一个可实现这些元素的方法不失为一个良好的开端。

但是,在开始任何转型过程之前,请在新模型中包含不可更改的内容——企业宗旨和设计原则——并确保它们与转型目标相呼应。企业宗旨阐释了你要为客户实现哪些目标,而设计原则会规范出在现有商业模式中哪些需要调整而哪些不需要。在我任职的企业里,领导团队在明确企业宗旨和设计原则之前,不会盲目做出任何具体的计划。以下的几条原则至今仍在我们面临转型时发挥指导作用。

企业宗旨

出售客户想要购买的商品,而不仅仅是我们想要出售的东西。

设计原则

- 不要重新“发明”出已经存在的东西。

- 尽可能减少限制。

- 提升个性化服务。

- 保持价格竞争力。

- 从第一印象到续约,给客户留下完美流畅的用户体验。

请记住,永远以客户为先,而不是急着对竞争对手作出快速响应,这才能促成成功的商业模式转型。焦虑和恐慌永远不能激励客户或员工帮助你实现成功,但如果有着完备的计划和充分的理由,相信我你可以做到的。(财富中文网)

作者简介:Annabelle Vultee是英孚教育成人英语培训中心首席运营官。

Why, When, and How to Launch a Business Model Transformation?

A flashy new competitor arrives on the scene. Everyone is talking about that one new thing they do. You start itching. Panic strikes. Quick, redirect and go where they are going! We must have that [fill in the blank] feature yesterday. We are behind!

Hang on. Stop and think. Yes, the break-neck speed of innovation and the accelerating power of technology mean we need to remain vigilantly aware of what is happening around us. But let’s be clear about one thing: the right direction is all about your customers—not your competition.

Everyone holds a megaphone these days, thanks to all the reviews and opinions on social media. Well-informed customers make sure the rest of the planet knows the pros and cons of a company and its offerings. That means that—more than ever before—customers navigate options more fluidly. So, don’t fall into the trap of panicking your way into a new business model out of fear of being left behind. What you offer today might be what they want again tomorrow.

Your customers are the most important people on the planet, so get to know what’s on their minds. Learn how they react to new features, pricing and products. The good news is that in many cases you won’t need to spend a penny. Let someone else’s expense and effort inform you about what features your customers do and do not value, their willingness to pay, and how they live their lives. In short, treat your competitors’ market entry as free research. However, remember, the new guys won’t get everything right on the first try. Ever. So before you play “follow the untested leader with a lot of VC backing but no idea how to turn a profit,” ask yourself these questions and take them seriously before you make a bet as big as a business model transformation.

1. Why should we launch a new business model?

2. When should we launch a new business model?

3. How should we develop a new business model?

Why to Consider a New Business Model?

There are four main reasons to change your business model. First, if your cost structure has or can shift dramatically—up or down—it’s time to shift. In considering a new business model, think about what is included in the product or service offering and how you make money. Take airlines: they used to all serve meals on flights, allow you to bring several pieces of luggage, and to select your seat for free. Now most airlines have deconstructed everything you care about, stripped everything out and offer you an “entry price,” on top of which you need to build back up to those features; which of course ends up much more expensive than the singular price they offered back in the day. The airline industry went to a building block model with more flexibility for a higher price. This makes sense as the cost of doing business for airlines has risen while willingness to pay has fallen and customers have alternatives to air travel. Airlines had to shift to something customers could afford, and that they could afford.

Second, if you can provide a better, more affordable customer experience or value, which will keep you market competitive and help you grow, then do it. Third, if new and attractive alternatives to your business are introduced or becoming available, you should start planning for a new model. Finally, if regulation changes the openness or competitiveness of your sector, you will have no choice but to look at what and how you sell in a new way. An industry that has had one business model for decades that is predicated on long, rigid contracts, many restrictions, and high prices for a service—where their cost of doing business is declining as they scale—is ripe for change. A good example is the telecom industry. The old model of calculating your monthly mobile phone bill for long-distance calls, text messages, roaming and data were per call, per MB, per text message, or per minute of roaming. Furthermore, you had to sign a long-term contract with high switching fees (like the loss of your phone number) to change carriers. Now most telecoms offer a single price for unlimited domestic calls, text messages, data and roaming, and you can move to another carrier within a month and even retain your phone number. To varying degrees, the telecom industry faced all four of the major factors that should encourage a shift in model. They had no choice but to change.

When to Consider a New Business Model?

When you are ready to enhance your customer’s lives with improved affordability, flexibility, or engaging features, you could be ready for a transformation. New technologies, a good idea by a new market entrant, increased regulation, more options, and changes in cost structure can all be an impetus to change. When these conditions emerge, you should prepare for a transformation (before someone else does). If you are reacting to a good idea by a competitor, though, remember that it takes time to assess what parts of their launch are valuable and what parts are not. If you react too soon, you will copy both their successes (likely not as well) and their failures (probably as well). With some patience, you will let them pay for the mistakes while you harness the wins. Timing is everything—whether you have the first-mover advantage or not. Just be careful you don’t wait too long and try to make things too perfect. You won’t get everything right on the first go, but once you are 90% ready, go anyway. You can always adjust when you know more.

How to Develop a New Business Model?

Commit to a methodology to guide you so that you have a roadmap to follow. I am a fan of the Design Thinking methodology for business model transformations because it is practical, widely available, and it centers completely around your customer. The most successful change initiatives achieve three things: They make your customers happier, your employees happier and your business stronger. So, a methodology that is aligned to those constituents is a good start.

Before you begin any process of change, though, commit to some non-negotiables in your new model. Decide on the tenets and design principles that echo your values and objectives for the transformation. The tenets of your model explain what you are trying to achieve for your customers. The design principles will lay out what to touch—and what not to touch—from your current business model. With my current leadership team, we didn’t start planning anything specific until we had the business model tenets and design principles clearly in sight. Below is what guides us still today through this transformation.

Tenets

Sell what the customer wants to buy, not just what or how we want to sell.

Design Principles

- Don’t reinvent the wheel.

- Limit restrictions.

- Increase personalization.

- Remain price competitive.

- Create a beautiful and seamless customer journey from first impression to renewal.

Remember that doing what’s right for your customer—not a rapid response to a competitor—is what will drive a successful business model transformation. Panic will never inspire customers or employees to get you where you want to go… but with a good plan and good reason, you will.

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