Michael Dell founded Dell Computer thirty years ago at the age of 19. Today he is worth an estimated $15 billion. In an address he gave in 1999, he shared the three "C's" that must be mastered by any business for success in the new age. Unfortunately there is one that even he couldn't master.

1. Content

This is the story of your business and product or service. To be effective, it must be engaging and relevant to your customer's needs and wants. Dell's story was about building customised computers to each customer's exact specifications, something no one else was doing.

2. Commerce

How does your business make money? In Dell's case, they skirted around the usual distribution chain by allowing customers to order online and have their hardware shipped directly to them, saving the customer money while increasing Dell's profit margins.

3. Community

Here's where Dell fell down. Unlike companies like Apple, they weren't able to build a loyal following that stuck by them over time. When other players entered the online market and undercut or outperformed Dell, customers moved across to them.

We would add a fourth C to Dell's list: Currency. You need to lead the market or at least be up to date to be successful. Unlike Apple, Dell was slow to catch on to the emerging mobile market, which has resulted in the company being worth half today what it was worth ten years ago.

Article by Robin La Pere, No Ordinary Business and Franchise Consultants

Contact me at robin@noordinary.co.nz.

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Robin La Pere of

No Ordinary Consultants has been a marketing manager, franchise manager, CEO, franchisor and, now, a franchise and marketing consultant.

No Ordinary Consultants can help you develop the four C's in your business. Contact us now for a free Initial Consultation.