Some businesses think their model simply can’t exist online, or can only be conducted from one central location. However, such an approach is likely restricting growth and costing these companies dearly.
According to Mark Rusbatch, CEO of Mister Minit Australia, it is simply “naïve” to think that sales other than those made in your physical premises can’t be incorporated into your service offering in some way.
“I think to say that because shoe repairs can’t be done online, at least at this point, is very naïve from our point of view,” he says.
“If the online story is affecting the foot traffic in the shopping centres, then potentially it also affects us. What we have to do is ultimately ensure that we are where our customers are.
“If our customers are online or our customers are looking to engage with us in different ways, we have to be there.”
While it’s all well and good to recognise that a business needs to explore ways to connect with customers virtually, how is a very traditional business like Mister Minit – which is marking 60 years in 2017 – making this a reality?
“We’ve invested quite heavily, as most business have these days, in the whole social media story and looked to provide advice, certainly look to answer questions. The sort of things that would support or even encourage our customers in terms of visiting our shops,” says Mark.
“[But] equally, we are also investing in developing complementary distribution channels. For example, mobile in terms of [servicing] customers who don’t come to shopping centres.”
As Mark suggests, it is not so much the ‘how’ customers are spending money that is being disrupted, but more of the ‘where’ they are spending it. And as such, it is important for all manner of businesses to consider that having a store or physical premises as a single point of contact for all customers is no longer a sustainable business model.
Instead, businesses need to be able to allow customers to make transactions when and wherever is most convenient for that customer, not necessarily where is most convenient for the business and its employees.
“It’s the customers that ultimately determine where we are,” he concludes.
Mark has loads of insights about business transformation, service diversification and how independent operators are generating higher returns by becoming franchisees on the My Business Podcast below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.