what do you believe might be at the heart of the problem so many firms have staying viable for any length of time? In just about every sector from transportation, communication, computing, healthcare, etc. the leading firms seldom retain their lead for more than a decade and it is often less. Could it be that as firms get larger, functions become more isolated and stove-piped? Identify some aspect that you believe might be an important factor in helping your firm achieve its strategic vision and goals and support your position with evidence.
A board of executives from the firm and selected high-profile entrepreneurs, the Review Board, will be reviewing the work of the various teams each week. In an effort to make it easier for unbiased evaluations to be performed, you are ask to follow APA document guideline and produce a draft vision of 3 to 4 pages for this and subsequent deliverables.
For the first deliverable, address the following topics and answer the questions, but do it in a way that flows as a single integrated vision document. You will refine this vision and create other important deliverables during this course. You are encouraged to spend a few minutes looking for supporting material about business vision documents and leverage the best of those ideas as you produce yours.
a. Who are the potential customers and what is it that they are experiencing that will position them to be viable customers? What is there about these customers and their needs that are likely to support a successful business for a decade or more, assuming you can out-think and out-perform the competition?
b. What is the nature of the business in terms of the customer relationship? Is this a commodity product where price and convenience is critical, a luxury item where price is not as critical, or is this a product/service where there is an ongoing business relationship after the sale? Is this the kind of product or service where repeat business should be a significant source of income for the firm?
c. Do you envision the business as starting by targeting specific needs of a single target community (e.g. the target is San Francisco), targeting specific needs of a similar set of communities (e.g. the targets are rural professionals living more than an hour drive from a major city), targeting a specific age group or demographic, etc.? Consider the various marketing philosophies from the textbook, find one or a blend that suits you and use it to help you answer these questions.
d. Is your vision to become very profitable by means of stellar margins from a very satisfied but relatively small number of customers (e.g. a luxury brand), or do you see the firm being profitable by means of a much larger number of customers and with more modest margins? Support your position.
e. How will your firm remain successful in our changing world and with competitors coming at you from around the world? Maintaining an appropriate balance between doing today’s business and preparing to become tomorrow’s business is not easy and many firms end up being “one-trick ponies” and disappear after a just few years of what appeared then to be success. How you ensure that your firm won’t be just another “one-hit wonder”?
f. What few key business-cultural aspects of your firm are important enough to you to make them a focus beyond profitability? How do these shape your business’ mission and goals? What characteristics would you like your business to be known for as your legacy beyond basic business and professional ethics and other behaviors that society believes are important enough to be the basis for various laws? How important are cross-functional, collaborative, and team efforts? Do you feel strongly enough about these causes or beliefs that you would be willing to be less profitable in order to remain true to them? If so, how would you explain your rationale to a potential investor who is concerned about the long-term prospects of their investment? As a result, what marketing and selling philosophies are most compatible with your vision and why?