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Generic learning points …

  • Standard strategy dynamics principles [a] business performance (sales and cash flow) depends on building resources – here, suppliers, customers and staff [b] resources are won and lost over time [c] resources depend on each other to grow and be sustained.
  • Competition is dominated by rivalry to capture and retain resources – in this case, both potential suppliers and customers.
  • Early business growth needs to become profitable quickly in order to succeed with limited funding.
Specific to this microworld …

  • Need to balance growth of customers (skiers) and suppliers (chalet operators), when each will only be attracted if the other is also won.
  • Building enough staff in sales and service to both capture and retain suppliers and customers, whilst not having so many as to harm cash flow.
  • Growing fast to capture a substantial but limited opportunity, when competitors are chasing the same limited resources.
  • Managing staffing and marketing in a highly seasonal business so as to both deliver growth and conserve cash.
  • Winning competitive strategy when two distinct mechanisms are involved – first, capturing loyal customers from an unexploited potential, and secondly, capturing the largest possible share of sales to disloyal customers.
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