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100 Great Business Ideas

241 Pages · 2009 · 1 MB · English

  • 100 Great Business Ideas

    //Know how to prepare a deep-dive prototype?


    //How’s your scenario planning?


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    //And are you up to speed with your psychographic e


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    profiling, value innovation and silo busting? e


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    In the world of business, new ideas and energy are needed constantly—in many K


    ways and at varying times—to ensure success. This book contains 100 insightful o


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    and useful business ideas that will help you succeed. r


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    Written in a stimulating and flexible way, 100 Great Business Ideascontains i


    ideas with proven power and potency that actually work. The ideas are varied, 1 100


    interesting, and thought-provoking, and some of the best ideas used in 0


    business. Some are simple—sometimes almost embarrassingly so—while 0



    others are based on detailed research and brilliant intellect. G


    Great


    If you have a restless desire and the energy to do well and stay ahead of the r


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    competition and a willingness to experiment and take a risk, this book will a


    inspire you to find out more or develop your thinking along new, creative lines, t Business


    B


    generating brilliant ideas for the future.


    u


    s


    JEREMY KOURDIis a successful writer and business adviser. During his career


    i Ideas


    he has worked with the Economist Group, HSBC, London Business School, IMD n


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    and the Chartered Management Institute.


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    Other titles in the 100 Great Ideasseries


    from leading companies


    around the world


    Jeremy Kourdi


    £8.99 in UK only


    BUSINESS


    www.marshallcavendish.co.uk


    Cover design: www.stazikerjones.co.uk


    SO8024_Business.indd 1 9/17/09 11:40:24 AM 100


    GREAT


    BUSINESS


    IDEAS


    FROM LEADING COMPANIES


    AROUND THE WORLD


    Jeremy Kourdi


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd i 1/5/09 10:37:37 Copyright © 2009 Jeremy Kourdi


    First published in 2008. This edition published in 2009 by


    Marshall Cavendish Editions


    An imprint of Marshall Cavendish International


    1 New Industrial Road, Singapore 536196


    Other Marshall Cavendish offi ces: Marshall Cavendish Ltd. 5th Floor, 32–38 Saffron Hill,


    London RC1N 8FH, UK • Marshall Cavendish Corporation. 99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown


    NY 10591-9001, USA • Marshall Cavendish International (Thailand) Co Ltd. 253 Asoke, 12th Flr,


    Sukhumvit 21 Road, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand • Marshall Cavendish


    (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Times Subang, Lot 46, Subang Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Batu Tiga, 40000


    Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia


    Marshall Cavendish is a trademark of Times Publishing Limited


    The right of Jeremy Kourdi to be identifi ed as the author of this work has been asserted by him


    in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.


    All rights reserved


    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted,


    in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,


    without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Requests for permission should be


    addressed to the publisher.


    The author and publisher have used their best efforts in preparing this book and disclaim


    liability arising directly and indirectly from the use and application of this book.


    All reasonable efforts have been made to obtain necessary copyright permissions. Any


    omissions or errors are unintentional and will, if brought to the attention of the publisher, be


    corrected in future printings.


    A CIP record for this book is available from the British Library


    ISBN 978-0-462-09960-6


    Designed by Robert Jones


    Project managed by Cambridge Publishing Management Ltd


    Printed in Singapore by Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd ii 9/15/09 2:35:27 PM CONTENTS


    Acknowledgments vi


    Introduction 1


    The ideas


    1 Building customer trust and loyalty 3


    2 Scenario planning 5


    3 Making your employees proud 7


    4 Using customer information 9


    5 The rule of 150 11


    6 Information orientation 13


    7 Franchising 17


    8 Eliminating waste (muda) 19


    9 Customer bonding 21


    10 Psychographic profi ling 23


    11 Understanding demography 25


    12 Mass customization 28


    13 Leading “top-down” innovation 30


    14 Social networking and transmitting company values 32


    15 Achieving breakthrough growth 34


    16 Deep-dive prototyping 37


    17 Market testing 40


    18 Empowering your customers 42


    19 Cannibalizing 44


    20 Increasing competitiveness 46


    21 Clustering 48


    22 Highlighting unique selling points (USPs) 50


    23 The experience curve 52


    24 The employee –customer–profi t chain 54


    25 Measuring employees’ performance 60


    100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS • iii


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd iii 1/5/09 10:37:39 26 Brand spaces 63


    27 Being spaces 65


    28 Increasing accessibility 67


    29 Partnering 69


    30 Bumper-sticker strategy 71


    31 Valuing instinct 73


    32 Building a learning organization 75


    33 Reinvention 78


    34 Corporate social responsibility 80


    35 The tipping point 82


    36 Outsourcing 85


    37 Keeping your product offering current 87


    38 Experiential marketing 89


    39 Information dashboards and monitoring performance 91


    40 Flexible working 94


    41 Redefi ne your audience 96


    42 Vendor lock-in 98


    43 Turning the supply chain into a revenue chain 100


    44 Intelligent negotiating 102


    45 Complementary partnering 104


    46 Feel-good advertising 106


    47 Innovations in day-to-day convenience 108


    48 Lifestyle brands 110


    49 Being honest with customers 112


    50 Instant recognizability 114


    51 Managing a turnaround 116


    52 Diversity 118


    53 Balancing core and the context 120


    54 Business process redesign 122


    55 Convergence 125


    56 Cross-selling and up-selling 127


    57 Kotter’s eight phases of change 129


    58 Business-to-business marketing 132


    iv • 100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd iv 1/5/09 10:37:39 59 Employee value proposition 134


    60 Built-in obsolescence 136


    61 Avoiding commoditization 138


    62 Developing employee engagement 140


    63 Managing by wandering about (MBWA) 142


    64 Precision marketing 144


    65 Branding 146


    66 Empowerment 149


    67 Rethinking the budget 151


    68 The buyer’s cycle 153


    69 Direct selling 155


    70 Age-sensitive management 157


    71 Three-factor theory 159


    72 Developing Islamic products 162


    73 Support and challenge groups 165


    74 Clear strategy 167


    75 Six-hat thinking 170


    76 Building business relationships 172


    77 Learning together 174


    78 Microfi nance 176


    79 Surviving a downturn 178


    80 Innovation culture 180


    81 Resource building 182


    82 Building trust 185


    83 Emotional intelligence 187


    84 The balanced scorecard 189


    85 Developing a sales culture 193


    86 Market segmentation 195


    87 Audacity 197


    88 Silo busting 199


    89 Selling online 201


    90 Value innovation 204


    91 Talent management 206


    100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS • v


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd v 1/5/09 10:37:39 92 The leadership pipeline 208


    93 Hardball 210


    94 Web presence 212


    95 Viral marketing 215


    96 Coaching and supervision 217


    97 User-centered innovation 220


    98 Internal promotion and succession planning 222


    99 Developing knowledge and intellectual capital 225


    100 Decision making and the paradox of choice 228


    Bibliography 233


    Acknowledgments


    This book is the result of the support and encouragement of several people, and


    while the execution, style, and shortcomings are my own, their expertise and help


    must be acknowledged. Thanks go to Louise Kourdi, whose diligent research has


    been especially valuable, and Martin Liu and his talented colleagues at Marshall


    Cavendish, whose patience, energy, and expertise are much appreciated.


    Also, I have been very fortunate to work with some of the most stimulating, professional,


    and exceptional businesses, several of which are featured in this book. I owe a huge


    debt to all my clients and past employers who have, without doubt, provided the most


    interesting and exciting environments in which to work, learn, and develop.


    Finally, my gratitude goes to my wife Julie and son Tom, for their constant support,


    encouragement, and inspiration.


    Jeremy Kourdi


    vi • 100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS


    111175-100 GI-Prelims.indd vi 1/5/09 10:37:39 INTRODUCTION


    This is a book about some of the best ideas used in business. Some


    are simple—sometimes almost embarrassingly so—while others


    are based on detailed research and brilliant intellect. Most are


    perennial, as their logic, simplicity, or value will help them endure;


    while others are, to be honest, rather faddy. What unites these


    business ideas is their proven power and potency. They are not only


    insightful and useful, they have worked: often in a brilliant way or


    despite great adversity. The ability of the people who conceived and


    applied these ideas should be applauded.


    One word of warning: while these ideas have worked for the


    companies mentioned at the time they applied them, it is not to say


    that these businesses will always get everything else right, forever


    more. They produced a result at the time, but if this book has any


    general lessons it is that new ideas and energy are needed constantly—


    in many ways and at varying times—to ensure success.


    While these ideas are varied and, I hope, interesting and thought-


    provoking, it seems to me that there are several different themes


    that run through many of these ideas and the businesses that use


    them. These include a willingness to experiment and take a risk.


    This seems to happen because many of the businesses display


    energy and entrepreneurship—a restless desire to do well and stay


    ahead of the competition. This is often coupled with an ability to


    understand the root causes of an issue, opportunity, or challenge,


    and do something distinctive, rather than merely tinkering with


    the status quo. Simplicity and an understanding of the need to


    be practical and implement the idea are also common features.


    Some ideas, however, do result from extensive study and research.


    This seems to confi rm Peter Drucker’s point that great ideas and


    100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS • 1


    111175-100 GI Business.indd 1 1/5/09 10:38:09 decisions are a blend of rigorous analysis and intuition. Clearly,


    sometimes one aspect is more important (depending on the idea),


    but both are signifi cant. Finally, the need to be practical, follow


    through, and ensure success is shown by the recurring need to


    monitor, measure, and refi ne the way the idea works.


    A word of guidance: if you are thinking of applying these ideas


    in your organization it may help to understand a little of the way


    that ideas are transmitted. Ideas tend to be passed on either by


    “blueprint copying,” which takes the whole idea and all its details


    and then replicates it elsewhere, or by “idea stimulation,” where


    the details are unknown or adapted but the gist of the idea is


    applied. For example, in his excellent award-winning book Guns,


    Germs, and Steel: A History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years,


    Jared Diamond cites the development of an alphabet as an idea that


    arose independently probably only once and was then copied


    elsewhere. Of course, these techniques are opposite ends of a


    spectrum, but, of the two methods, idea s timulation is surely


    more adaptable, robust, and likely to succeed. So, use these ideas to


    stimulate your thinking and make the specifi c adjustments needed


    to ensure success in your situation.


    I hope that these ideas will provide you with the inspiration to


    fi nd out more or develop your thinking along new, creative lines,


    generating brilliant ideas for the future.


    Jeremy Kourdi


    Please note that the ideas outlined in this book are listed randomly, for


    interest, rather than being grouped or ranked in a specifi c order.


    2 • 100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS


    111175-100 GI Business.indd 2 1/5/09 10:38:10 1 BUILDING CUSTOMER


    TRUST AND LOYALTY


    Both selling and infl uencing suffer from the similar


    misconception that success requires you to aggressively or


    cleverly push a product or idea. This misunderstanding leads to


    inappropriate behaviors. For example, people can become evasive,


    “pushy,” and aggressive, or overly talkative and agreeable. Selling


    and infl uencing depends on getting behavior right, by moderating


    openness and assertiveness with warmth and competence.


    Combined with a great product or brand, this goes a long way to


    building customer loyalty.


    The idea


    Harley-Davidson overcame a turbulent past by building customer


    loyalty—one of its most enduring assets. It was one of America’s


    foremost motorbike manufacturers but, by the 1980s, sales fell


    dramatically following tough competition from affordable, high-


    quality Japanese machines. Harley-Davidson improved quality


    using the production techniques of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. The


    next challenge was to win back, and maintain, market share (it now


    enjoys a customer loyalty rate of 90 percent).


    Knowledge of customers’ needs and appealing to customers’


    emotions helped Harley-Davidson to build trust and bond with


    customers. Their managers meet customers regularly at rallies,


    where new models are demonstrated. Advertising reinforces the


    brand image, to promote customer loyalty. The Harley Owner’s


    Group (HOG) is a membership club that entrenches customer


    loyalty, with two-thirds of customers renewing membership.


    100 GREAT BUSINESS IDEAS • 3


    111175-100 GI Business.indd 3 1/5/09 10:38:10


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