On a slightly tangential note for us solution sellers, I came across an interview with a Swiss chap that founded a hotel chain. A quarter of a century later, the firm has 50 hotels throughout S Africa.
Always interested in company founders, the most striking thing disclosed for me was how it all started,
“It was a very simple deal,” he remembers. “Most deals that are simple work.”
Even now I can look at a proposal for something ‘new’ and be staggered at how tricky it is to grasp first-time-round. Over-complication is a killer.
Although we may not be trying to buy a half-built hotel ourselves, the ownership structure (a cash/sweat-equity split) and simple target (1,000 rooms in five years) seem on the surface remarkably straightforward and equally applicable to many a fresh solution proposal.
Who has what responsibility, and what is the target for acceptance?
[As an aside, it is interesting also to note that Hans Enderle grew his young chain with a cost leadership strategic focus, in part it appears, by taking advantage of his competitors failure to fully exploit what they believed to be their differentiated offer, with a telling line stating how he removed ‘unprofitable fripperies’ from his hotels.]