One company, Company A, opened in the late 1970’s, and the other, Company B, opened in the mid 1980’s – about seven years apart.
Company A is a thriving, growing business that has diversified itself in different areas, while Company B is stagnated (even shrinking) and struggling. Although Company A had a seven year head start over Company B, the place where Company B is now is nowhere close to where Company A was seven years ago.
I had the opportunity to speak to both owners about how they run their business (not at the same time of course) and here are a few things that I found.
- Company B focuses on low price going after customers seeking low price. Company A goes after customers who want high-value and are willing to pay a higher price.
- Company B is using the same old printers that it had for decades. Company B has invested lots of time and money in new technology, including digital printing, continuously over the years.
- Company B has staff that is unionized, even though it’s a very small business, and the owner constantly complains about them. Company B has staff that is diligent and loyal to the business and is not unionized, and the owner constantly praises them.
- The owner of Company B wants to be involved in every decision and process that there is in the company. The owner of Company B delegates authority to others for getting things done.
- Company B is trying to do the same old things and hoping to get different results. Company A continuously looks at the environment and changes its strategy to suit.
You take a look at the stark differences in approach between the two businesses and think about why Company A is doing better than Company B.
Company B still would not listen to anyone’s advice, and still continues to struggle, but perhaps you may learn a thing or two.