For short-haul flights, minimizing turnaround time of plane at airport. This existential question has plagued humanity since the dawn of time.
Develop systems and procedures to both safeguard and improve your business, and document these. This ensures everything has a process that can be easily followed. It’s a valuable asset in any business, and will provide added value when the time comes to sell your business. Business owners who have “grown into” their business over time can often overlook some very important steps. They have been so busy building their business and working in their business, the basic business principals are sometimes never addressed. We are likely to see more diverse partnerships between businesses and charities of all sizes and types over the next few years, and many of them may well bring together some surprising bedfellows.
It is not an easy thing to get right, and the consequences of getting it wrong can be serious for all involved. A number of businesses are, shock horror, expressing opinions on social and environmental issues. Take, for example, Neal’s Yard and Co-Op with their recent campaigns on bees. But they are being joined by many new businesses, particularly start-ups, who see social purpose as a fundamental aspect of what they do and why they exist. Where Jamie Oliver has led, others are following, not least the founders of Leon, the fast-growing natural fast food chain, who are now shadowing Jamie Oliver by looking to improve the healthiness of school meals. Corporate responsibility as a discipline has grown due to questions revolving around the value and purpose of businesses. It started as a defensive mechanism to ward off the threat of compulsion and legislation potentially detrimental to business practice by government, or outcry from consumers, customers, suppliers or employees.
Being a business owner sometimes means making hard decisions. Get your customers paying on time – every time, and clean up any long-standing debts.
No surprise then that it has developed most in areas where a business can show how it is minimising the negative impact of its work – on the environment, suppliers, even on public health. It’s where M&S’s Plan A struck home so successfully when it launched, and where others have been very quick to follow. For short-haul flights, having a fleet of small planes coupled with operational processes that minimize wait times is a key source of competitive advantage. This is an area where short-distance specialists like Ryanair, easyJet and Southwest airlines really excel relative to peers. For long-distance flights, business and first-class customers quite often subsidize most economy customers. That is why airlines focus so much on premium customers and so many airline loyalty programs are really focused around repeat business-type customers. For long-haul flights, creating a strong value proposition for price-inelastic business and first-class customers.
It can be easy to let emotions come into play when someone gives you their sad story. It’s important you have a clear policy or procedure to follow.
And yet it is also a question that almost all ‘marketplace platforms’ face in their early years. Since marketplaces generally pick a niche (e. g. Uber for dog-walking) and then expand operations city-by-city, the chicken-and-egg problem never really gets solved for the first decade of any such startup. What happens in effect is that while certain markets hit scale/positive unit economics, the cost of expanding to new markets and subsidizing new riders/drivers makes the overall financials appear bad. Thus, the challenge remains to raise successive rounds of private financing at increased valuations while pursuing the dual objectives of growth and profitability. Trevor Cowley and Kale Goodman, serial entrepreneurs and business partners, share how surviving tough financial times prepare an entrepreneur for future successes.