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Businesses re-create, thrive

To succeed, businesses must be responsive to change

Posted: July 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Mel Abraham speaks at the Valley Industry Association luncheon at Valencia Country Club on Tuesday.  Mel Abraham speaks at the Valley Industry Association luncheon at Valencia Country Club on Tuesday. 
<p>Mel Abraham speaks at the Valley Industry Association luncheon at Valencia Country Club on Tuesday.</p><br /><br /><p> </p>

As the song in the musical “Cabaret” went: “money makes the world go round.”

But that’s not enough in today’s climate, according to the keynote speaker at the Valley Industry Association’s membership luncheon Tuesday in Santa Clarita.

Successful companies do more than create a commodity, said Mel Abraham, founder of the Business Breakthrough Academy.

“It’s all about value today,” Abraham said. “We’re in a value-exchange economy.”

Entrepreneurial thinking holds the key to economic growth in the new economy, he said.

Citing businesses that have gone by the wayside — Polaroid, Blockbuster, and more — Abraham said the key to a company’s success is to be responsive to change.

At one point in the not too distant past, companies had up to a decade to build their business before it began to backslide and business owners needed to begin re-creating their business.

In today’s economy that business growth life-cycle may last as little as six months, he said.

“You need to be in a constant state of re-creation,” he said. “You can’t wait until the company peaks and then starts backsliding before you begin to think about re-creating yourself. The time to re-create your business is when you’re still growing.”

Using Apple as a case sample, Abraham outlined how a share of Apple stock mushroomed from $40 a share to $540 a share and more while the company was still innovating and creating a mobile world by inventing first the iMac, and then the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

But Apple began to confuse innovation with product improvements, he said. And as it did, its stock price began to slide backward.

As of Tuesday, the price per share closed at $430.

And, in reviewing the movie rental business — from Blockbuster to Netflix to Redbox — Abraham looked at how each of the businesses grew, failed or reinvented themselves.

“If you aren’t re-creating your business, someone else is,” he said.

Having a business plan and managing the mechanics of a business is about making money.

Having a business model, however, should not be about how much a company earns but about how it gives value to customers, employees and vendors, Abraham said.

A successful company will have a clear sense of identity, be able to distinguish itself by its uniqueness in the marketplace and by building connectivity with people.

Creating a compelling, emotional connection and relationship with people takes a business from the level of merely selling a commodity — to filling a deeper need in people — that of “connection.”



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