Catching Up Too Late or Staying Ahead??

The Thomas Cook news at this present time seems hard to believe in some ways:

  • A major brand name (‘household’ would be an apt description)
  • A decent product/ service
  • Strong advertising

But go a little bit below the surface and the issues start to become apparent:

  • A heavily leveraged business in financial terms
  • A track record of needing more help over the last few years
  • A market in which slim margins are a ‘norm’
  • A difficult market to forecast
  • A rapidly changing market

SME’s may say that this is a different world to the one that they work in but certainly some of the factors that are causing the fall of Thomas Cook are exactly what they face in their marketplace.

It’s too Iate for Thomas Cook, but had I been an investor being asked for a further £200 million to allow Thomas Cook to stay afloat I would need to know that the model is being dramatically changed for to carry on doing the same thing and expect different results is insanity (to part quote Einstein).

Dramatic changes should have occurred at Thomas Cook years ago. They, as a business, failed to think ahead and think creatively about what their market would look like in 1 – 3 years’ time and plan accordingly. They, like business fellow graveyard occupiers Toys R Us, Woolworths, Blockbuster etc., carried on for too long with ‘business as usual’ disregarding the fact that the consumer, with digital access to travel products and services, simply did not need a trip to the travel shop and had more choice.

Could Thomas Cook have competed well in the digital travel market? Of course! A strong brand, great name, good service – all it would have taken was the ability to use imagination taking a look at what the world around them WILL BE (not ‘has been’ or ‘is’). Following this process of creativity, the Management Team could then have put a strategic plan together that fits the future and also keeps them AHEAD of competition. Alas, too late for them.

But not for you. Are you aware of what your market will look like in a year or two? I guarantee, whether you know it or not it will be DRAMATICALLY different. Have you thought about it? Do you allow and encourage your team to think about it and add their views? Do you have a plan for the future – not yesterday or today? Our Step Change programme will allow your business to think about and plan for a future as a market leader and leave your competition behind. Don’t leave it too late like Thomas Cook have.

For a free meeting with us with no obligation to discuss your challenges, get in touch at:

07747 023610

David Turner

Managing Director