Direction is more important than speed

The coffee shop owner and the situation of most startups

“One Sunday afternoon coffee shop, with only the owner and only one guest. The third wave of the COVID epidemic has just flooded Hanoi, making the shop even more deserted. The guest leisurely sipped the sweet coffee at the beginning of the year. In a deserted space, the two people sit and exchange some New Year\’s stories. The owner of the shop revealed that she had opened the shop for two months, but very few customers are now suffering from COVID translation, so fewer people visit. She was very worried about her difficulties and how to pay the monthly rent when she was suddenly startled by the question of the guest:

– Do you know why people like to sit in cafes?

She was a bit tense; she suspects this is a trick question, because “to have coffee” is such an obvious answer. The guest asked again: “Do you know Starbucks coffee?”. This time, she shook her head completely. Having only been in business for a long time, she rarely had time to visit, but only focused on her small coffee shop. The guest continued:

– It is a famous chain of American coffee shops, the coffee may not be as good as the coffee here but is very crowded, do you know why?

“Why?” she thought, curiosity on her face. Since the opening of the restaurant until now, she has taken great care of her concoction. Although not many customers come to her shop, everyone compliments the drink is very delicious. So what does that Starbucks do and get so crowded, and is it a chain of stores?

– Must learn Americans about starting a business, to be successful, the founder of Starbucks has carefully researched the market to come up with a unique way of doing business. Coming to Starbucks is coming to “the third home” (the first is our home, the second is the workplace).

The guest continued to ask the owner:

– My store\’s slogan is “Sharing feelings”. So what feelings are you going to share with customers?

The guest closes, and the shopkeeper is completely confused. ”

Not only the coffee shop owner in the above story, but more and more young people eagerly chase after the call of “starting a business” after just a few readable articles on the internet or a few books on how to get rich. Many such “good” businesses have gone to a dead end in the first few months, just because they want to go fast without investing time and effort into building a right direction. In other words, they\’re running blindfolded and running, dangerous at the same time, not knowing where they\’re going.

Success stories when focusing on direction

Starbucks coffee chain is famous worldwide, with more than 31,000 stores in nearly 80 countries. The first Starbucks was born in 1971 and was bought by Howard Schultz and expanded in 1987. What makes CEO Howard Schultz love this place and his choice to stick with Starbucks is more than just the taste of the delicious coffee. but also a core value of Starbucks from the very early days: He wanted to make Starbucks a place as familiar as the third home of every customer. As the official owner of Starbucks, Schultz expanded the brand worldwide, making it a household name that was familiar to everyone. This brand strategy is embodied in every aspect of Starbucks: From comfortable and comfortable seats, many convenient power sockets for people to work, to cozy spaces, friendly staff calling you by name. private, suitable for all visits. This strategy has turned Starbucks into an experience: People don\’t go for coffee, they go for Starbucks.

Starbucks has successfully become a global brand thanks to its clear strategy and consistent execution
Starbucks has successfully become a global brand thanks to its clear strategy and consistent execution

Once he has clearly oriented the path for Starbucks, he is always determined to maintain his faith and lead the team in the chosen path. It only took him two years to open 46 stores across the US, and about 30 years to bring this number up to the tens of thousands. During this time, Schultz constantly researched new varieties of coffee, invested in a research and development team for coffee, upgraded new ways to enhance the customer experience, and especially copper. sets the quality of the whole chain through clear corporate cultures. This is also a general formula to have outstanding brands of many large corporations in the world such as IKEA, Apple, or RyanAir. These are all typical examples in strategy lessons, clearly defining the future direction, mission as well as core values, thereby bringing those values ​​into all aspects of the business of the business.

Where to start looking for direction?

However, not all businesses have the ability to invest hundreds of billions in branding worldwide, especially in the current economic downturn. In this situation, a Vietnamese restaurant in Europe revived with creative ideas based on core values. An Nam restaurant in Uppsala city, Sweden, is a Vietnamese restaurant, with the restaurant\’s layout like a corner of old Hanoi and the menu inspired by Vietnamese literary works. In the midst of the epidemic peak in Europe, like many other businesses, the restaurant also went through a period of disparity because the revenue was too low, even on the verge of bankruptcy. By August 2020, the restaurant suddenly became famous and became an exciting phenomenon with the new idea “Silent dinner”, appearing on both local and international news sites, and is always full of seats every night. The idea of ​​”silent dinner” was inspired by writer Nguyen Tu Phong (owner of An Nam restaurant) from a mindful meal in Buddhism. He combined unique values ​​from two cultures East – West, including the harmony between Vietnamese cuisine and Nordic dining style, the restaurant quickly revived the fate of the majority. small business in this COVID period.

The success of An Nam restaurant in Sweden thanks to "Silent Dinner" - an innovative idea based on the core values of the restaurant
The success of An Nam restaurant in Sweden thanks to “Silent Dinner” – an innovative idea based on the core values of the restaurant

Many young people just read inspirational lines about starting a business, eager to act immediately before investing time and effort into finding directions and planning strategies, and then the start goes into the alley. amputated, typical as the cafe owner in the above story. So it is different from being enthusiastic about going without seeing the road. The examples of success in standing firm and reaching out in business are always businesses with proper investment, focusing properly on building and implementing strategies. When there is a direction, speed is no longer a concern.

For a comprehensive overview of business strategy, Sleader introduces you to the book Decoding East West Strategy – the key to success of every business. Order today directly at Sleader or through Tiki.

Source: Strategic Leadership Development Research Institute (Sleader)

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