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Create More Profitable Business Models by Determining the Needs of Beneficiaries, Customers,

Feb 10, 2008
The first instruction for doing the minimum to create a perfect result through your business model is:

Determine the needs of the beneficiaries, customers, and users.

Organizations often skip this step. Here's a typical example: When you want to rent a function room in a nice hotel or restaurant, the establishment will have a target profit they want to earn from you for use of that space. Let's say that they want to make $1,000.

But they are usually wary of quoting you that amount for the room as a line item in your proposal. You might then shop around for a lower room rental rate.

So these establishments try to hide the room charge by insisting on providing food and service for a minimum number of guests at quite high catering prices. Undoubtedly feeling a little guilty about those prices, the catering managers will often deliver three times the food and beverages you need. Their objective is probably to make you feel like you got a bargain by having more than you could eat and drink.

Let's say, though, that your purpose for renting the room is to have a business discussion with your guests. While your guests are sashaying back and forth from the out-sized buffet with endless piles of shrimp, not much business conversation is going on. After overeating, the guests may only want to take a nap.

That food-induced semi-coma isn't too great either for the discussions you wanted to have. Here's another problem: All that surplus food makes the guests uneasy, thinking that perhaps you had a lot of people not show up at the last minute and wondering what's wrong with your organization. Others will feel bad about the waste, wishing that it could have gone to the poor instead.

Such a hotel or restaurant would be better off to ask the event's organizer what the purpose of the event is, how the setting and meals can support and not hinder that purpose, and how else the hotel or restaurant could contribute to making the event more successful.

For a host organization that wants lively discussions, a special menu could be developed. The food would be light and modest, but of remarkable quality in ingredients and appearance. To avoid having people receive too little food, there could be several courses.

Courses would be served at the table only during times when it would not be an interruption to have such service. Deliver the food on a schedule that allows for time to rest between courses and by dessert many people will be waving away the choices . . . which also helps the guests be more alert. The hotel or restaurant might also train and direct the staff to drop subtle hints that the servers are honored to be assisting such a distinguished group as an additional way to make the guests feel special.

Where offering providers go wrong is in assuming they know better than the customer, user, or beneficiary what is needed. Instead, involve the customer, user, or beneficiary in examining each important area of choice.

The best way to do this is to have an expert asking key questions and providing information as the choices are pondered. If you cannot provide step-by-step guidance in person, the ideal approach is to unbundle your offerings instead so that customers, users, and beneficiaries can highly customize what they receive and experience. To that unbundling, add your expert knowledge via helpful answers to frequently asked questions that can stimulate customers, users, and beneficiaries to make better selections.
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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