by Kim Barty on 24/10/12 at 8:00 am
A couple of years ago I was involved in an American business consulting venture in SA called rep. Their mission, to repurpose business and transform societies, I’m a sucker for that.
At the time, the experience was life-changing, didn’t know that it would be a parenting tool too. rep is part of The Institute, birthed by South African born Brett Johnson and is a highly respected US consulting firm. The organisation assesses the health of a business through the corporate X-ray of the 10 P’s.
The school system doesn’t generally teach our kids about entrepreneurship, especially in the Foundation Phases, but when my daughter set up her pavement Spaza shop recently she pretty much had most of the 10P’s covered:
Purpose – I think she wanted to make cash above all else. In fact she said to me, “Mommy you don’t have to give me pocket money, I’m going to open a shop”.
Product – her shop was stocked with homemade cookies, cup cakes, magazines and handmade clay ‘art’.
Positioning – not quite a brand yet, but who knows – Zoe’s Spaza has quite a nice ring!
Presence – marketing in essence, but it’s how you find out what your customers need and then persuade them they need your product. My daughter prepared handmade invitations that she dropped into the neighbours’ post boxes. So the neighbours might have come to purchase her wares because they ‘needed’ cookies and cupcakes, or they might have been charmed by the personal invitation – both are relevant.
Partnering – Mom, who had her best interests at heart. Her friend from school asked if she could help. When I mentioned that Zoe would have to share the takings with her friend, I think she decided she didn’t want to share her takings and didn’t need a partner.
Profit – her parents are her financiers, so she’s not using her takings from this weekend to buy stock for the next, she’s heading straight for the bank. If pavement trading becomes a regular occurrence, we will definitely not bank-roll her efforts.
Process – with the determination of an obstinate CEO, she had us all serving her project – manufacturing, packaging, marketing, distribution, you name it.
People – Zoe wasn’t sharing this gig with anyone, except her mother who was speller, body guard (come on we live in SA, a seven year old can’t be on the pavement on their own), and equally enthusiastic pavement store owner.
Planning – she had endless To Do lists. Think she gets that from me.
Place – on the pavement outside our house, no rental, no shopfitting required.
So as I write this and review the 10 P’s, I’m reminded of this robust approach and realize that I need to revisit a number of them for my own business.
Kim's the founding partner of Trojan Horse, a company that creatively accesses people, places and spaces and is the holding company for MyCube4Change, a change and transformation tool. She treasures the lifestyle that working for herself offers, even if the bank balance doesn’t always equal ‘success’, there are many other ‘success’ and value boxes ticked. View more articles by Kim Barty.