Today, I want to reveal to you seven businesses I am modeling. As you know, I am in the entrepreneurial process of building a business so I have to follow the footsteps of the great business leaders. Just as I have business mentors and entrepreneurial role models, I also have business models that I strategically follow.
In this article, I will be revealing seven companies I use as a standard to build my own business; I will also be telling you the strengths of these companies. I love and model my business after these companies not because of their great products but because of their strategic management style. They are successful companies and they make good business models for younger companies.
I will be specifically explaining the specific business strategy used by each of these successful business models. You are also free to adopt any of these strategies for your business. If you are ready, let’s set the ball rolling. Below are seven successful business strategy models you must emulate.
7 Successful Business Strategy Models You Must Emulate
1. Apple Inc – Good Innovation Strategy
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
I listed Apple Inc because of the innovative style of their management. Apple has kept the pace by using strategic innovation to maintain leadership position in the technology industry. Apple’s innovative strategy is simply breathe taking. You can never predict what they’ve got up their sleeves. They are always coming out every now and then with one innovative product or the other. They’ve caused several frenzies in the marketplace with products such as iMac, GMac, IPod and IPad.
“To turn really interesting ideas and fledging ideas into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.” – Steve Jobs
“In three years, every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make them obsolete or somebody else will.” – Bill Gates
Apple’s innovative style has made them consistently rank top ten in the Fast Company’s list of innovative companies. I try to model Apple in my own little way by constantly improving on businesses. I constantly seek innovative ways to increase customer’s loyalty and profit. If you want to make innovation one of your company’s core values, then Apple is one of the successful business strategy models you can emulate.
“Pretty much, Apple and Dell are the only ones in this industry making money. They make it by being Wal-Mart, we make it by innovation.” – Steve Jobs
2. Virgin Group – Strong Competitive Strategy
“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson
I respect Richard Branson’s Virgin Group for their guts. They are always unafraid to tackle giant companies head on. The Virgin group is respected in the business world for their strong Competitive spirit; they are quite good at outsmarting the giant companies. Virgin’s competitive style of management has made them go head to head with giant corporations such as British Airways, AOL and Coca Cola. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit of competition, then Virgin is the company to model your business after.
“We have always had a pretty competitive ferocious battle with British Airways. It lasted about 14 years and we are very pleased to have survived it.” – Richard Branson
“What does the name Virgin mean? We are a company that likes to take on the giants. In too many businesses, these giants have had things their own way. We are going to have fun competing with them.” – Richard Branson
3. Oracle Corporation – Tactical Acquisition Strategy
“Everyone thought the acquisition strategy was extremely risky because no one had ever done it successfully. In other words, it was innovative.” – Larry Ellison
What really made me doff my hat for Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle Corporation was his aggressive acquisition strategy. What will you say of a company that spent over $65billion to buy up 57 companies in a space of five years? The company was molded by the founder “Larry Ellison” to expand via strategic acquisition and this strong acquisition strategy made them beat IBM to the game by acquiring Sun Microsystems. If mopping up smaller companies delights you, then Oracle acquisition strategy is a business model to study.
“In order to grow at this pace, there’ll have to be a couple of acquisitions along the way. The tricky thing is to grow at this rate and maintain a 40 percent operating margin.” – Larry Ellison
“I think you might see us growing much deeper into banking. You might see us acquiring companies in the banking area. You might see us acquiring companies in the retail area. I think you might see us acquiring companies in the telecommunications. I think you will see us getting stronger in business intelligence.” – Larry Ellison
4. Dangote Group – Niche Domination Strategy
One of the successful business strategy models you must be on the watch out for is that of the Dangote Group. This group is so strong in the Nigerian commodities market that they have held the market to ransom for years. The Dangote Group has a thorough understanding of the commodity market. Their strategy to focus and dominate this niche has put them in control of over 42% of Nigeria’s commodity market; a country that boast of a population with well over 150 million people.
Dangote Group now maintains a stronghold on the Cement, Flour, Pasta, Salt and Sugar market; and he is also making a move into oil and gas refining. Thanks to the vision of its founder, Aliko Dangote; the richest black man in the world. One lesson I picked up from the Dangote Business strategy model is this; forget about satisfying everyone, just pick a niche, master the ins and outs and strive to be the best in that niche.
“The ultimate goal of the Dangote Group is to dominate every niche in which it operates. In order to achieve this goal; we acquired over 3000 new trucks, developed a strong distribution network and increased production capacity. Our strategy is to sell our products faster than our competitors and at uniform price.” – Aliko Dangote
“And here is the prime condition of success, the great secret. Concentrate your energy, thoughts and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged in. Having begun in one line, resolve to fight it out on that line; to lead in it. Adopt every improvement, have the best machinery and know the most about it.” – Andrew Carnegie
5. Reliance Group – Thinking big strategy
Do you know one thing I love about Mukesh Ambani’s lead Reliance Group; they think big and do things big. They own the largest refinery in the world and they are one of the largest conglomerates in the world; but they were not as big as this many years ago. To further proof their belief in doing things big, Reliance Group invested $5billion in a single swoop to create a network of retail stores. The ultimate lesson from this successful business model is this; start small but think big.
“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” – Donald Trump
6. Wal-Mart: Unique Pricing Strategy
“Always low price.” – Wal-Mart slogan
Wal-Mart, in the face of stiff competition came up with a winning strategy that made them industry leaders. They decided to use strategic pricing as a weapon to overcome their competitors and that pricing strategy has put them in the leadership position. Today, as at the time of this writing; Wal-Mart is the most capitalized company in the world and number one on the list of Fortune’s 500 companies.
“There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: make the best quality goods possible at the lowest price possible, paying the highest wage possible.” – Henry Ford
7. Coca Cola: Strong Brand Strategy
“If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” – Robert Kiyosaki
The seventh successful business strategy model we will be looking at is Coca Cola; owners of the world strongest brand. Sometime ago, Coca Cola’s fixed assets were estimated at $8billion but its brand name “Coca Cola” was estimated to be worth over $80billion. Why? The reason is because Coca Cola has worked diligently over the years to strengthen their brand. The Coca Cola brand is the most popular all over the world; thanks to the strategic brand management team of the company. If using your brand image to gain an edge over competitors looks like something you can diligently pursue, then Coca Cola’s business strategy model is definitely worth emulating.
These are the seven successful business strategy models you can use as a benchmark to model your business. I want to state categorically that it’s useless trying to implement all these strategies. Just pick one or two and diligently give it your best shot; and success will be yours