LEARN FROM THE PENN CENTRAL BANKRUPTCY. The bankruptcy started when leadership decided they were in the railroad business … instead of the transportation business. While Penn Central was trying to run a railroad, people in other companies were inventing ways to employ trucks and planes to move people and things.
There is nothing so critical to the performance and success of a business as the correct perception of what that business is and how it relates to the market. That statement is worth repeating: There is nothing so critical to the performance and success of a business as the correct perception of What that business is and How it relates to the market. And … that is never truer than in the middle of a massive disruption of the marketplace! Understanding the purpose of your business may be the most important result you get from the painful, but necessary, crisis assessment of your business.
Here are a few examples of this required understanding: Hotels are not actually in the business of selling hotel rooms. A hotel room has a bed and a TV. It costs over two hundred dollars a night. But the business is much more than renting a room. Hotels are multi-million-dollar investments in hospitality and fine dining. They provide assurances of quality, efficiency, and genuine friendliness. And they should be marketed as such. That was the hotel business.