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April 2014                                                                                  Volume 15 Issue 04
Finding the Cutting Edge 
Innovative and Unique

Every company has to have a strategy. Specifically, you need one that effectively creates a buzz in the marketplace without the complexities and numerous graphs. A successful strategy should create significant value and lead to sustained growth and returns.

Remember that strategy should generate a unique
value. This is especially important in crowded markets, where competition is widespread and the numerous choices can overwhelm the customers. A cutting-edge strategy demonstrates that the company is doing something special, different and that it suggests greatness.
Dell Computer created unique value incredibly well in the 1990s with their built-to-order product customization and direct-to-customer sales channel. As a result, they restructured conventional value propositions and chains that catapulted the company to a dominant role in the technology sector that has continued to the present day.
Not only should a strategy be unique but it should create new markets as well. In order to gain new customers in a marketplace where so many competitors are vying for each and every one, producing breakthrough value is essential. FedEx did this effectively with their overnight delivery, and have profited handsomely as a result. Cutting-edge strategies demonstrate value by leading markets and its consumers, instead of just responding to their current desires.
Strategies should create value by providing things that inspire excitement, intrigue and joy via exceptional functionality, design and execution. For example, Sony created the Playstation game system that was both incredibly electrifying and thrilling, and setting off a $20 billion computer game industry in the process. 
Another aspect to consider with a strategy is that nowadays, it's no longer about mass markets but instead "markets of one" as the principle value driver.  Currently, Capital One has 29 million holders of its credit cards, and no two have the same terms. The company's digital capacity allows it to canvass thousands of possible combinations instantaneously. For example, a person with a bad credit history and a fondness for fusion jazz will receive a card with an entirely different set of financial marketing arrangements apart from someone with a great credit history and a love for the Chicago Bulls.


Finally, the strategy should provide an employee-driven value. The traditional scenario of a few high-ranking executives and high-priced consultants determining strategy, and then pushing it down for others to execute is destructively anachronistic. Real value and its corollary, competitive advantage, accrue to organizations that fully invest in and capitalize on the talents of their people. Top management sets broad strategic priorities and directions as well as clear values and culture. But within those parameters, cutting-edge strategy and accountability, a.k.a. value, bubbles up from anywhere. This is a quantum departure from conventional "empowerment" and "employee participation."


Value can be created by an all-hands strategic involvement. At GE Capital, entrepreneurially-minded employees are held to bat around "crazy" business-enhancement ideas and put together project teams to take those ideas to fruition. Intel and Merck take that idea a step further by funding employee-driven startups. For example, Intel provided $100 million in seed capital to different employees who have put together viable plans for high growth businesses that fit into Intel's mission.

Therefore, a cutting-edge strategy should center in constant innovation with a constant focus on the consumer's needs. It should offer an approach that's unique, startling, trendbreaking as well as customizes value. This done by a "collaboration on the run:" all hands working together as strategic partners, obsessing on speed. When this process is ignited and fueled by top management, something wonderful happens. Strategy becomes an agile, market-centric collaborative process. It can also be incredibly exciting.

Handling Project Management 
How Revolutionary Speed Has Made This Ability Essential


Today, managers may spend as much time in interdisciplinary, cross-functional project teams as they do in their usual positions - known as project management. This applies not only to projects undertaken for customers (external projects), but to those undertaken for the development of the organization itself (internal projects). 
Many factors have contributed to this becoming a big-plans-big-hair.jpg core competence. One of which is speed, coupled with the increased complexity of organizations and the closer relationships within and between companies, their customers and suppliers. We now need evolutionary change at revolutionary speed, necessitating skillful project management.

Projects Must Be Driven By Strategy
You should be able to demonstrate explicitly how each project that you undertake fits your business strategy. The screening out of unwanted projects as soon as possible is essential. The less clear the strategy, the more likely those unsuitable projects will pass the screening. A company can risk overall performance if you have dozens of irrelevant projects competing for scarce resources. Each project should have a sponsor who is accountable for directing and ensuring that the expected benefits fit the strategy and will be realized.
Use a Consistent Staged Approach 
Rarely is it possible to plan a project in its entirety. However, you should be able to plan the next stage in detail and outline the project from start to finish. As you progress, you will gather more information, reduce uncertainty and increase confidence. The challenge is to develop a strategy for the right combination of value-added, personalized and proactive service. Keeping customers will require high levels of assistance, a positive experience and trust in your organization.
The typical framework comprises the following progressive steps or stages:
  • Proposal - Identifying the idea or need.
  • Initial Investigation - A brief overview of the possible requirements and solutions.
  • Detailed Investigation - Undertaking a study of the options, defining the solution.
  • Development and Testing - Building the solution.
  • Trial - Piloting the solution with real people.
  • Operation and closure - Putting the solution into practice, closing the project. 
Placing high emphasis on the early stages of the project might mean that between 30% and 50% of the project's life cycle is devoted to investigative stages before anything final is physically built. Research clearly demonstrates that placing heavy emphasis up front significantly decreases the time to market/completion. Good investigative work means clearer objectives and plans. Decisions taken at the early stages of a project have a far-reaching effect, and set the tone for the remainder. In the early stages, creative solutions can slash delivery times in half or cut costs dramatically. Once development is underway, changes can be very costly.
Encourage Teamwork and Commitment 
Be sure to encourage teamwork and commitment at all times. The need for many projects that requires a range of functions from the people involved means an integrated team approach is essential. People will perform better when they work closer from different disciplines when management allows that kind of flexibility. Although this is not always practical, closeness can be achieved by frequent meetings and good communication, often through Web tools or video-conferencing.
Monitor Against the Plan 
Good planning and control are prerequisites for effective project management. There must be guidance, training and support for all staff related to projects, including senior managers who sponsor projects and make related decisions. Core control techniques include planning, managing risk, issues, scope change, schedule, cost and reviews. Planning as a discipline is essential. If you have no definition of the project and no plan, you're not going to be successful. 
Despite all this foresight and care, things will not always go smoothly. Unforeseen issues do arise that threaten the success of the project if they're not resolved. Monitoring and forecasting against the agreed plan is a discipline that ensures that events do not take those involved in the project by surprise. This is best illustrated by the "project control cycle." The appropriate frequency for the cycle (daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly) depends on the project, its stage of development and inherent risk. Such monitoring should focus more on the future than on what has actually been completed. Completion of activities is evidence of progress, but is not sufficient to predict whether milestones will continue to be met. The project manager should continually check that the plan is still fit for the purpose and likely to realize the business benefits on time.


Leading product brands think and act differently such as the vision of Apple, passion of Nike, irreverence of Jones Soda and the entrepreneurship of Jet Blue.
Today, the mastermind of business lies in the ability to connect with external and internal elements such as customers and shareholders, creativity and analysis, promises and reality, today and tomorrow. You have to combine customer insight, creativity with the analytical and commercial rigor that drives strategy, innovation and profitable growth.
Dodging the Dogmatic Tendencies   
Too many businesses are obsessed with their internal elements - how to do what they do better, reduce their cost base and automate their processes - rather than the external. This can lead businesses to often miss what matters the most. Kodak was the market leader in photographic film for many decades. Then within a handful of years, they found that their market had disappeared. In place, the digital world led by Sony and HP took over with a bang. By the time, Kodak reacted, it was over.
The best opportunities and biggest challenges are found externally. The starting point of any business strategy should focus on when the market changes. Since its implications are often discontinuous, more significant responses are required. Market thinking should be at the heart of not only decision-making, but business in general.
Apple watched the market for music fragment and blur into chaos as new technologies disrupted the industry model. Consumers rebelled, new entrants challenged the economics and old formats quickly became obsolete. Then Apple brought together an innovative solution in the form of hardware and software (iPod™ and iTunes™) to offer a way through this turmoil. As a result, they redefined the industry dynamics with a compelling and profitable solution.
Clout of the Customer  
While borders have blurred and markets merged, there has been a shift from demand in economies of surplus to those of supply. Customers now call the shots where we have everything that we need. Therefore, our wants are more emotional and unarticulated. Not only are customers more different and informed; they are less tolerant, which leads to high expectations and lack of loyalty.
In response, markets have unleashed thousands of commercials that bombard our senses every day. By the time a kid turns 18 today, he or she will have have seen approximately 150,000 different ads. Kids have learned to cope with the growing numbers. They can typically deal with 5.2 activities at once, where as adults can only survive with 1.6.
Leaders of the Pack  
So how can business owners throw off their filters and address the emerging market landscapes and new balance of power with customers?
You want to apply intelligence in more inventive means. Imagination is required to see the uncharted waters, the bigger picture and drive more achievable innovation.
Analysis and creativity go very well together, despite our seeking to label people in one way or another frequently. Human beings have evolved with brains that can do both, and, as a result, perform better. Analysis helps focus creativity on the biggest impact areas; creativity helps break through data to find insight and direction. It requires the left and right brain to work harder together, embracing the yin-yang opportunities. 

Figures such as Steve Jobs, designer-cum-philosopher Philippe Starck or accountant turned marketer Phil Knight of Nike can provide us with insight into this. However it should not be limited to the special few. You can become the mastermind of your industry through everyday decisions and actions.
Seeing Things Differently  
As with the theory of relativity, the Alessi orange squeezer or the brand endorsement of Michael Jordan, a genius is able to see things differently. Therefore, that person has the opportunity to do extraordinary things.
 In business, the starting point is to see the world from where the customers stand - products and services, business and sectors the way real people see them. Coca-Cola recognized that it had to reframe its market context. They saw that juices and teas rather than carbonated drinks will more likely drive its future success.
A business leader who sees a new landscape with appropriate direction and stimulus develops the belief and conviction to act differently - disrupts industry conventions, innovates the market rather than simply a product.

 Consumable Products Company Sold for $1,700,000 by VR Office in San Diego, CA 

The VR Business Brokers Office in San Diego, CA, a leader in the sale of privately held companies, recently facilitated the sale of a company specialize in the sale and distribution of consumer goods.


The company sold is a highly profitable industrial supply company selling niche consumable products to businesses and end-users throughout San Diego County with decades or recorded success. The company has a central location, easy on/off freeway access, trained staff, extensive on-site inventory and smart technology that controls sales and inventory. Sales are driven by repeat customer and word of mouth, limited advertising. 


VR Business Brokers of San Diego, California handled all aspects of the transaction, from initial business valuation to marketing the opportunity and providing support through the closing process. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


VR Continues to Match Qualified Buyers with Businesses for Sale

In today's business climate, our clients demand quality and professionalism.  We applaud our VR business intermediaries for a job well done!!  Here is a small sample of transactions that have closed across the VR network recently:


Industrial Supply Company  $1,700,000.00   San Diego, CA

FedEx Ground Trucking Co.   $525,000.00     New Haven, CT

Gourmet Popcorn Franchise $300,000.00      Artesia, CA

Bed & Breakfast   $1,375,000.00    Charleston, SC

Taxi & Transportation Business   $1,550,000.00    Waukesha, WI

 Thinking of selling your business, or looking for an already running business purchase? 
Contact a VR office today!

Highly Profitable Distribution Company for Sale in Northern Indiana
This dynamic distribution company has served the Northern Indiana industrial markets for more than 60 years. The company carries over 400 products lines targeting a variety fabricators, manufacturers, tool and die makers, mold builders etc. 
The vast majority of revenue is derived from loyal, long-term customers. The company has earned a strong reputation for competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and technological know-how. Their goal is to become an indispensable partner to each of their customers. The company also has identified a few solid initiatives that will fuel the growth into the future. 
This business is not only a great acquisition target for another distributor looking to expand its product lines and customer base, but also an individual who is skilled in leading a customer-focused organization.

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In This Issue
The Structured Sale
Handling Project Management
Mastermind of Business
Featured Transactions
Businesses Sold
Featured Engagements
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For Sale

Here is just a small sample of the many businesses that VR has for sale. 

Gas Station, 1 Acre Lot for Development


Artesia, CA


On-Line Computer Supply, Sales, Mfg.


Artesia, CA


Established Optical Business


Edmonton, Canada


Trusted & Established Utilization Review Center


Coral Gables, FL


Freight Company


Coral Gables, FL


End-to-End Web Services


San Francisco, CA


Golf Course Banquet Facility / Prime Real Estate


Waukesha, WI


Cookie Manufacturer & Food Distributor


Waukesha, WI


Custom Livestock Processor


Wichita, KS


7 Fedex Ground Routes


New Haven, CT


Crane & Rigging Co.


San Antonio, TX


Asphalt Paving Co.


Springfield, MO


Riverfront Mobile Home Park with Development Opportunities


Apollo Beach, FL


Established Coin Operated Laundry


Wesley Chapel, FL


Established Blow Dry Salon


Fort Lauderdale, FL 


Successful Paving Business


Malvern, PA


Health & Beauty Spa


Naples, FL


Plastic Injection Molder


Pasadena, CA



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