When Henry Ford needed an innovative production model in the nascent automotive industry, he got his ground breaking idea of using an assembly line from the meat packing industry. Since that time, many fortunes have been built by forward thinking entrepreneurs who brought in ideas from other industries.”Funnel Vision” is what business strategist Jay Abraham calls this entrepreneurial ability to pull in business ideas from other industries in a way that creates new competitive advantage.1. Find new approaches to certain problem areasCertain intractable problems that are industry-wide challenges may be overcome by looking outside your particular industry. When Henry Ford developed his assembly line model, he ushered in a new paradigm that broke the trade off between quality and cost. Before Ford, the automotive industry employed only expert craftsmen who custom-built cars that only the wealthy could afford.2. Insight into new or impending challengesIn 1997, former Intel CEO Andy Grove heard how U.S. Steel lost its dominant position to upstart manufacturers of “rebar” (cheap, concrete-reinforcing steel). U.S. steel had originally ceded the low end of the market to these manufacturers, but those they eventually encroached to compete in higher end products.Grove seized on the metaphor by declaring low end PC processors to be “Digital Rebar” and guided Intel on a preemptive strategy to manufacture Intel Celeron processors. This protected Intel from competitor domination of the lower end of the PC market.3. Improving existing practicesMost businesses and most industries share the same core processes in common. Whether those processes are strategy, people, production or budgeting, there is always a strong possibility for extracting improvements from other industries. Taiichi Ohno, the foremost pioneer of Toyota’s famed production system is supposed to have invented the Kanban system after observing the shelf-stocking procedures at U.S. supermarkets.4. Benchmarking opportunitiesThe practice of benchmarking (comparing your business processes to your industry’s best) is a well-proven strategy for business improvement. However, there is increasing evidence that competitor benchmarking may leak into the strategy development process and inadvertently lead to a lack of differentiation. Benchmarking to companies in alternative industries may be a way to gain the benefits of such comparisons while avoiding the strategic pitfalls.5. Development of a learning organizationA learning organization is a more dynamic organization that has a greater ability to continually transform itself because it facilitates the learning of its individual members. Actively encouraging your employees to develop “funnel vision” is a great way to build the competitive advantages that are inherent to a learning organization.6. Avoiding collective organizational blind spots.A collective habit of scanning through indirect competitors can also act as an early warning system that protects against strategic business risks like a market convergence. For instance, very few day spas today realize that their allergists and dentists are likely to be their most common competitors in a fast converging future.7. Find opportunities for expanding the market.Looking outside your industry may help you open new markets for your products and services. One of the most important soft innovations you can come up with any business is the ability to identify new market spaces for exploration.8. Potential for finding new partnerships and alliances.In addition to all the benefits above, regularly scanning external industry spaces can help you identify companies to establish partnerships and alliances with. Strategic partnerships are some of the most cost-effective and powerful ways to grow regardless of the scale of your company.
If you are an automotive type guy, then perhaps you have decided to start your own business working with cars. Of course, you probably realize that setting up an automotive shop of any type is a very expensive proposition.Maybe you have discovered the possibility of establishing a mobile auto motive business, but what kind, well let us look at a Mobile Car Wash and a Mobile Oil Change Business. What type of equipment will be needed? For a mobile oil change business, you will most likely need some of the following:
Dip Stick vacuum system
Dial volume select pumps
Waste Oil Tanks
Fresh Oil Tanks
There are several vendors who specialize in mobile oil change equipment out there. A van set up is a little over 10K some as high as 17K and of course you have to buy a van too. Some of the vendors in the industry have package deals – some have trailers, some have skid “pick-up” truck mounts. Such a system works okay with a camper shell with side openings yet, most operators prefer the vans. Let’s say you wished to set up a business in a downtown area, well then a van seems smart or a mid-size pick-up, with excellent logo’ing makes sense too. Mobile Car Wash Businesses are rather simple and the equipment is pretty straight forward, as you will need a:
Pressure Washer 2200 psi
Plastic Water Tank
A Vehicle or Trailer
Bucket, sponges, decent soap
Again there are considerations for the type of washing and locations that you will be working and your preference for a vehicle. I wish you well if you are considering starting such a business of your own.
You will find a decent number of franchises accessible which let you be van centered. This typically involves working from home with the mobility of a van or related transport which allows you to visit purchasers.The main advantage of van franchise opportunities are that they largely permit you to be based from a domestic residence and don’t need an independent office or trade premises. This obviously keeps running costs down whilst permitting you the professional image of arriving at the clients site in van that could be kitted out in your franchise brands’ corporate colors.You will discover many different types of van franchise, for instance:-Automotive Renovation and Repair FranchisesAutomotive franchise businesses generally cover on-site, minor repairs to cars such as dent restoration, windscreen repair and such like. A van is utilised to move yourself and the necessary equipment to the purchasers location as in a house or office to carry out repairs on-site.Domestic Renovation FranchisesDomestic Repair Services comprise everything from handy repairs, plumbing, electric work, building work as well as home and garden renovation/maintenance. Any gear used for the duty are normally transported to the customers address in your van.Delivery Franchise businessesThese tend to be business-to-business types of franchise which can be supply of mass consumables or commercial merchandise to business customers. They usually entail moving of the products inside a van for distribution to purchasers commercial premises.These are just a number of the various van franchises for sale to be had. For those who have decided a van franchise system could suit them most suitably then start by browsing the choices available in the market. From this you’ll be able to narrow it down to a couple of options that suit you the best to explore further.When researching a franchise, its imperative that you investigate thoroughly. Take time to examine all the choices offered either by attending a franchise exhibition, reading franchise business media or browsing franchise blogs online.When you’ve several franchise businesses of benefit, plan to meet the business owners to acquire a feel for their operation and as well request a listing of their franchisees. Drop a line to the franchisees and use them as references. The franchisees are the people presently doing what you may be doing should you took on that exact franchise so they are surely a really valuable source of information and attitude on how the franchise opportunity performs.Unless you have the finance available to invest, you’ll most likely also need to examine financing choices. Many of the high street banks have committed franchise sections which can guidance on funding for your franchise opportunity purchase.Whatever option you go for, remember that a franchise business is a commercial investment decision. To receive a return you’ll need to be enthusiastic and disciplined to work hard. Only then will you accomplish success.