What constitutes a threat to your business? What risks are you running? Businesses can develop certain structural weaknesses that leave them potentially vulnerable. One area where structural weaknesses can arise is when the business functions as a middleman, an intermediary in the supply chain.
Paul Dodgshon of Uscita Solutions, in Northwich, comments, “Structural weaknesses drag down a business’ value. If they aren’t addressed they represent a significant risk, eating away at a business, with serious consequences”.
Death of the Middleman?
“With the intermediary or middleman model there is the danger that the customer will eventually by-pass the business and go to the supplier direct. This is when the intermediary risks becoming surplus to requirements”
An example of this is the traditional high street travel agent. Many customers now choose to book their holidays direct, online, effectively removing the need for the travel agent’s services.
If the middleman is over-reliant on providing a specific service, or product, a shift in the relationship between the customer and supplier can prove catastrophic – shutting the intermediary out.
For the middleman, is there an alternative?
The Curator Business Model
The classic definition of a curator is someone who oversees or manages. The curatorial role in business requires a certain versatility in being adept at selecting key goods or services and making them available to the right kind of interested parties.
“This represents a way for businesses to rethink what they offer and in doing so, to build value at the same time”, Paul observes.
Rather than either being an intermediary with a sole purpose, or becoming over-reliant on a limited number of supply sources, the curator is selective but from a wider perspective. The key to curatorial success lies in opening up options but also being particular about choices.
The curator business model involves understanding the part and the whole, and the relationship between these and the customer.
“Success comes from being able to address unique needs and having a scalable business model at the same time,” Paul explains.
Curator businesses identify gaps in the market where they offer added value and specialised services. They are an evolutionary step up from the middleman and as such, they can increase the value of their business. They are gatekeepers.
Alternatively, for more information, please contact Uscita Solutions by calling 01605 535020 or visiting uscita.co.uk.