99% of all companies are Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SMEs). 70% of all SMEs want to grow, but only 30% succeed, so Johan Wallquist’s reasoning is perfectly logical.
The starting point of all good business ideas must be that the supplier understands what the customer really needs.
Business leaders of SMEs need business advice/resources that
- Delivers real results, not temporary pain reliefs
- Are speedy
- Always available
- Let the business leader stay in the driver’s seat
Most SMEs do not buy extra support from management consultants today, simply because most consultants
- offer advice only… not actionable enough
- have the wrong business model, i e high cost just to get started and a model based on selling many hours at high rates
- often have single subject know-how
- are not available 24/7 and not in the same geographical spot as where the customer is
So, we decided to do something; time, money or your physical location should not be a barrier for you to get the access to savvy business know-how that helps you tackle problems, improve or expand your business!
We decided that our solution, a “digital mini-McKinsey in your pocket” must meet the following criteria. It has to
- Help the user achieve real and sustainable results
- Be fast and efficient
- “All” topics in one place
- Have a price level that is affordable to everybody
- And last, but not least – the solution should put the user in the driver’s seat
The name of the game is to start “Rebbling”, a combination of
- “do-it-yourself resources; modules (we call them Blocks) with “built-in” business experience containing strategies, tactics and step-by-step guidance so that you can create your solution. The Blocks are written by “Mountain Guides”, i e senior businessmen/-women and experts.The Blocks include lots of illustrations and examples and all text is short and to the point. As one of our users said, “it is knowledge condensed, packaged to be absorbed in 30 minutes”. All content has a systematic structure, which makes it fast and easy to grasp
- Online member forum where you can ask and discuss business topics with other members
- Possibility to purchase extra help from a Mountain Guide, if and when needed, from 30 min and upwards
Welcome to the Mountain!
Ingrid Ericksson, Founder
How important is training and skills development to you as a leader? This question was posed to several business leaders in a recent study done by the Swedish magazine Chef & Karriär (#2, 2019). 89% answered that it was Important or Very important. Leadership training and specific skill development is a top priority. However, 53% stated that they’d had no training during the past year – mainly explained by four reasons:
- Time: “I haven’t had the time” – 38%
- Money: “My employer thinks it’s too expensive” – 12%
- Prioritization: “I haven’t taken the initiative” – 35%, or “The employer does not prioritize skills development” – 22%
- Relevancy: “It is hard to find relevant training” – 27%
Getting the most out of your team is both about enhancing the skill of each team member and how the team works together as a group.
According to Gothenburg based company Tidwell, studies show that “no management teams work at its full potential” – most often due to inefficiency (Dagens Industri, May 10, 2019). Inefficiency can be caused by many different things, but from our experience, it is most often explained by
- Different perspectives and no common view of the current biggest business challenges for the company
- Too little time spent discussing strategic and tactical issues
- Lack of
- common business understanding; team members talk past each other and often have imperfect insights into their colleagues’ specific business challenges and how it affects the total group output
- direction and what to prioritize as a group
- time, resources and specific competences
At Rebbel Mountain we believe in releasing the full business potential; no one knows your company better than you and your team, but you can’t be an expert on everything and sometimes you need actionable strategic and tactical resources to tackle acute problems, improve or scale up the business. That is why we created Rebbel Mountain:
- Actionable “Do it yourself”-resources to empower your team
- Solving a business problem is seldom about fixing one thing – you often need to address several aspects. That’s why Rebbel Mountain starts with the symptoms of the challenges; when choosing a “Business Problem”, several modules packed with strategies, tactical advice, actionable steps, quick-wins & pitfalls to avoid appear
- You and your team get a mutual framework and business language, minimizing the risk for misunderstandings
- We have also included a calibration and prioritization tool to make sure your team is on the same playing field and gets the priorities straight
REBBEL MOUNTAIN is designed to get real results; it’s fast and affordable. And it puts you and your team in the driver’s seat.
Equip yourself and the management team with subscriptions and start releasing the full potential of your company, today!
The Rebbel Mountain Team
Elin Sobczak is a procurement specialist and Mountain Guide at RM. In this blog she shares her thoughts on how to maximize the bottom line with the help of purchasing.
Is procurement a crucial part of the service/product you deliver? How much of your total cost is related to procurement?
An important part in supply chain management is purchasing, typically the higher the spend on procurement, the more crucial it becomes to have a supply chain that is not only efficient but also robust. If you handle purchasing professionally it will not only secure a vital part of the supply chain, but also help you make decision and take the right actions.
Now, Let’s talk about coffee. I know this may sound like a trivial example, but it is a good illustrator of the point I want to make.
You have mapped the coffee consumption in your company. On average, an employee drinks 3.4 cups of coffee per day, and each cup costs €1. This means that if you have ten employees you will have an average spend of 10 x 3.4 cups x €1 = 34 € per day.
If you base your procurement only on this information you will probably get a good price for the coffee. But let’s stop and think for a while – are there other products you purchase to the office that are linked to the coffee consumption and impact the true total “coffee-cost”? Some of your employees may take their coffee with milk, or sugar, and there are of course costs for shipping and coffee machine maintenance.
So, before you make any procurement decisions, you must get the complete picture – what kind of “supplier-actions” does your Request for Quote (RFQ) trigger? Remember, your supplier probably knows more about your company’s behavior than you do; if you do not take the full picture into account, your suppliers will give you a low price on the coffee, but will most likely overcharge you for the milk, sugar and/or shipping and maintenance. To get it right you must look at the total cost, in combination with your needs:
To get good coffee, without the hassle – at the best price!
So, before you ask for a “coffee-quotation”, you need to ask yourself some relevant questions:
- Is the ordering of the coffee efficient? How much time does it consume and what is the alternative cost of time spent on ordering coffee?
- What does your service level agreement (SLA) look like?
- What is the total cost for coffee?
Do you spend a lot of time on ordering, or do you have a scheduled automated ordering process with the supplier? Tip, get a schedule, it’s transparent and base it on an SLA!
Service level agreement (SLA)
What service level do you need, e g intervals between service of the machines, refill of the coffee beans, restocking of milk and sugar, maintenance terms & conditions etc?
Not everyone takes their coffee with milk and sugar, but your supplier probably has decent statistics; ask the supplier what percentage of your employees that take their coffee with milk and/or sugar, then add the price and volume to the calculation of total cost for every cup of coffee.
- 10 employees drink coffee, 4 of them take milk and 2 like to have sugar in their coffee.
- The average cups of coffee per day per employee is 3.4 cups.
Black cup of coffee for 10 employees: 1.15 x 3.4 x 10 = 39.1 € per day (inc. shipping, maintenance, etc)
Add milk cost: (0.15 € x 3.4 cups of coffee per day) x 4 employees = 2.04 €
Add sugar cost: (0.1 € x 3.4 cups of coffee per day) x 2 employees = 0.68 €
Total cost for coffee for your company per day is: 41.82 €
Hence, the total cost for your coffee consumption is 41.82 €, not 34€. However, the true total cost is even higher if you include extra time you have to spend on bad ordering processes, inefficient service levels etc.
To master your purchases, you need to analyze and control entire processes. Imagine what you could gain/save if you applied this way of thinking on all your important company processes, not only the coffee.
Read the Rebbel Mountain Block “Purchasing – a strategic approach” to start your purchasing optimization journey.
In a survey done by Almi in Sweden, most business leaders want to grow their business:
- Almost 70% of companies are aiming for a substantial expansion
The GEM 2017/2018 Global report, by GEM, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor investigates global trends on entrepreneurship and the findings from Sweden can be summarized as:
- Ca 80% perceive good opportunities for Entrepreneurship, but
- Only ca 35% feel they have the right capabilities, and
- Only 8% express they have entrepreneurial intentions, even though
- Entrepreneurs have high status and entrepreneurship is a good career choice.
Many entrepreneurs find it hard to move from the incubator- to scale-up phase! This, by the way, is also true for leaders of established companies when facing a substantial expansion. The new situation requires the business leader to be able to balance several new aspects.
To achieve a sustainable long-term business, and to create value, expansion must be done in a profitable way. As a leader, you have to play different roles, see the illustration below:
Running a business with 5 employees is different from running a business with 15, 25, 50 or more employees. Complexity also increases significantly when you step-up your production, expand internationally, create partnerships, enter new market segments, etc. Business risks must be controlled, the organizational structure and processes have to be adapted, and new demands on management and leadership appears.
It is difficult to master all aspects above; being an expert on everything is impossible! Seek savvy business-advice when you need to; tackle acute challenges, plan your business, improve performance and scale your business at Rebbel Mountain. All resources in one place. Rebbel your business challenges!
The number one reason why startups fail is no market need – according to CBInsights: “Tackling problems that are interesting to solve rather than those that serve a market need” was cited as the No. 1 reason for failure, noted in 42% of cases.
Is it possible to influence, or even create a “market need”? Of course, it is! Sometimes the small things make the whole difference, to your customers. Let’s look at some examples.
Example 1: Make small design changes
Throughout history, men have worn black socks with their suit. Period. Happy Socks started to design socks with bold colors and/or funky patterns and by doing that they also created a new market need. All of a sudden, professionals could show some attitude by wearing colorful socks.
The company was founded in 2008, and revenue 2017 was close to €50 Million.
Example 2: Apply a proven business model to a new segment
Biking is becoming more and more popular as a mean of transportation but buying a decent commuter bike is expensive.
Bikelease.se is introducing the concept of leasing-bikes. Employers have for a long time offered fringe benefit cars; now the employer can also offer employees bikes as a fringe benefit, applying the same leasing-model as they do for the cars. So, instead of buying a bike for 1 000 Euros, the employee can lease it for a monthly cost of 20 Euros. Surely, this will make the demand for bikes increase!
At Rebbel Mountain we believe that you can drive market and create demand with offerings that are innovative. That is, innovative in the eyes of the customer, as shown in the examples above.
What could YOU do to drive market, based on small changes to your current offering?
Creating Strategic partnerships can be a great idea; you might need a partnership to e g increase revenue, reduce cost or gain speed/faster time to market. The Strategic partnerships are often of vital importance to your company’s success since the purpose is to share risks, increase speed, access know how, build market presence/acceptance, and/or sharing resources/costs.
But then there are times when they simply don’t work out. Maybe it’s because the partnership hasn’t met certain expectations or goals. This could result in consequences like disappointment, hurt relations and loss of market shares. Reasons to have reached a point like that can vary, but there are some great things both parts can do in advance to make sure to avoid a scenario of failure. If you are curious to find out things to keep in mind before stepping into a partnership, we highly recommend you check out our Block “Creating Partnership”.
There are several reasons why the partnership doesn’t turn out as expected. Look out for these red flags:
- Lack of vision; why do you need a partner? know-how? geographical coverage? market access?
- Different ideas, purpose, and goals regarding the partnership; do you see it as a strategic partnership but your partner doesn’t?
- Conflicting business cultures/values amongst the parties, which ultimately can hurt your brand
- Badly negotiated contract where there is no win/win; in a strategic partnership, both parties need to be winners
- No true ongoing commitment amongst the parties. No matter how good the intention is before signing, the true commitment starts to show when the ink is on the paper and the real job begins.
- Not enough dedicated resources to nurture and drive the partnership.
Creating partnerships can be tricky, which is why there are many more hints, tips and advice on the Rebbel Mountain ‘Creating Partnerships’ Block. We look forward to seeing you inside!
A business plan is the “glue” that keeps your operations on track and in synchrony, but before you start writing yours – make sure to have these five areas in check to save yourself time.
1. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
You may have a very clear idea of your business strategy, but you need to make sure that your team understands it as well on a five-year horizon. A well defined five-year vision will help both you and the team to make decisions to take you there.
2. Your Unique Selling point
Don’t let your customers be confused about what and why they should buy from you (and not someone else). Your business plan should include your unique selling points. This means that you and your colleagues will have a clear pitch when talking with clients. It also means that everyone on the team will be able to present your customers with the USP in an ‘on-brand’, common language. Your team can give your customers a clear answer as to why they should buy from you, and not from your competitors.
3. Decision Making
Decision-making is easier when you have a clear business plan to refer back to. Your plan will outline the vision for your business, and how you want your business to grow in five years. This makes it easier to identify any opportunities and say no to any that would detract from that growth. You won’t get as fatigued by decision making, because you can base them on your business plan.
4. Communicating with Investors
Investors and banks are more likely to give backing to a business who has a well presented, clear and easily understood business plan. It shows them that you are serious about your business, and have researched your industry.
5. Product Specification
Only a part of your business success will rely on talented salespeople. Another crucial part lies in making sure your salespeople know the value of your product. Your business plan will help your team know what to sell, and how to meet the client’s expectations.
Do you need to write or re-write your business plan? You can try our Business Plan block to keep updated on how a business plan for 2018 should be written! Do you need to update/rethink your business plan? Assess your situation by doing the quiz related to the Block Business plan today!
The recruitment market is more complex than ever, making it more difficult to navigate:
- Unemployment rates in the Western world are decreasing, both in public and private sectors.
- Simultaneously, we see persistently high unemployment rates amongst immigrants, perhaps because they lack local language knowledge, or have an insufficient educational background.
- The population is getting older, creating a higher demand for health care and other support systems.
- Almost every devise, tool or platform we use incorporates more advanced software, and the high demand for software engineers we have seen in the past couple of years is unlikely to diminish any time soon.
Just to mention a few challenges…
Are you able to find the right people with relevant skills in the current market environment?
For many companies finding the right people is a struggle. It is very easy to lower your demands and expectations, both on the people you want to hire, or your current employees. In both situations, lowering your standards is the worst thing you can do. It will dilute your brand and your ability to deliver, and that will hurt your bottom line in the long run. Just raising the salary is not an option either.
So, what can you do?
- Look outside your local recruiting market. You may have to look overseas. In areas where you have neither presence nor knowledge, you need to find a good agency to support you. If you have an agency that you work with, do they have a global presence or international alliances or cooperations?
- Look into other geographical areas who have a surplus of the competence you require.
- Find alliances both locally and globally. Often the Foreign Departments of nations have business units to support this kind of activities.
- Finetune your competitive advantage as a company, and what you can offer potential employees. Don’t forget to highlight the quality of life aspects your particular location has to offer.
Want to learn more about recruitment and building your team? Check out the Rebbel Mountain Blocks about Staffing and Recruitment to make sure your next hire is successful. Rebbel Mountain is your business development platform, for all aspects of your business.
Business is quite simple. If you want to increase your profit, you either have to increase your revenues or decrease your costs. But think about it – is it because Apple has lower costs than other manufacturers that they are one of the most prominent and profitable companies in consumer electronics? Probably not.
For a long time companies have focused on lowering their costs, most likely because it is easier than increasing their revenue – and you are in full control of your costs. That is OK… you should always try to keep your costs down. But the bad news is that there is a limit to how much you can cut your costs.
The other way to increase your profit is to charge more for your products and services. But just raising your prices might scare customers away causing your sales volumes to decrease.
Solving the poor profitability-dilemma rests with increasing revenues. The good news is that you can work with a wide variety of aspects. Here are a few things to consider:
- Create a more attractive offering that meets your customers’ true needs
- Start Driving your market (as opposed to being driven by your customers or competitors)
- Apply a smart pricing & product strategy; both your sales volumes and overall price level will increase
- Communicate the real value, what it means to the customer
- Implement a good Sales plan
- Is your Sales staffing correct?
- Review your Sales team’s targets and incentives
- Build and communicate your brand
Some actions will take time to implement. In the meantime, try to implement quick wins to get real results immediately. The Rebbel Mountain-platform provides you with not just the strategic frameworks and an actionable step-by-step plan to enable you to create your solution, but also tips and ideas regarding quick wins. And which pitfalls to avoid!
You are about to close the deal, and the ink is almost on the contract… just when you think they are about to sign the customer says: “We can sign today if you give me the service X, Y & Z for free. And you need to lower your price by 10% to match your competitor’s price.”
Do you recognize this situation?
So why do we always end up talking price? Reasons could be:
- Customers like to negotiate to feel like they get a “good deal”. When the offering structure is rigid, the sales person’s toolbox is often limited, the only variable they have to work with is the price.
- The product or service doesn’t entirely match the customers’ preference? It’s either too much; “I don’t want to pay for all these extra features that I don’t need anyway”, or too little; “I need some extra features for this specific situation”.
- You haven’t been able to demonstrate the value, nor the benefits of your product.
- The sales person’s point-of-contact is the purchasing department, who’s only objective is to save money.
So if a salesperson’s negotiation options are narrowed down to price only, you will end up in price discussions – something you want to avoid!
To dodge discount discussions, and to give your sales team more tools; have an offering structure where the customer can choose from a specified number of features and options, of course with different price-tags. The sales negotiation will then be focused on the service and feature level required by the customer rather than just the price-tag.
To conclude: giving your customers options will force them to focus on which service/spec-level they need and help them understand the value, and that different service-levels have different price-tags!
Does this make sense? Why not look into www.rebbelmountain to get more inspiration and a structured approach of how to handle this dilemma!