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Updated 29 Sep 2020

Key factors to consider when adapting your business model

Well-known furniture specialist Mobelli Furniture + Living has enjoyed years of success as an outdoor furniture brand. Alon Sachs, co-owner of the company, shares some business insights on the company’s range expansion.

Alon Sachs, 20 August 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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The process of adapting the Mobelli business model and building the new collection was not plain sailing; it took time, research, commitment and hard work. And after a year of conversations with the right people, a subsequent partnership with an interior decorator ensued and the wheels were set in motion.

Sachs explores the key need-to-knows when changing a business model and Mobelli’s process:

1. What was the process involved in establishing your new indoor collection?

Market analysis was at the top our list. We conducted our research and found there was a niche for attainable and contemporary modern European styled furniture pieces. It’s not a good idea to go into a change like this blindly, it’s very important to know your market and what it wants. 

Following that, the scouting-phase began. We spent time at international tradeshows, scouting metres of furniture floor space. Equally important was choosing a manufacturer, we needed one who had the presentation, style, quality of fabric and colours closely aligned to our brand and what the market would appreciate.

Related: The fundamentals of building a successful business

2. What was Mobelli’s biggest challenge when it decided to adapt its business model? 

Selecting the right fabric was our biggest challenge. Our business model is consumer focused and what makes us unique is that our customers can take delivery of a piece right away. This meant that fabric choice was crucial, choosing the right textures, colours and patterns were imperative. We needed to make the right decision for our customers.

Roughly, we saw about 100 designs we loved, but couldn’t have them all. We narrowed it down to 20, which was challenging, separating the good from the great. But we’re happy with our choices.  

3. What’s the key need-to-know before adapting your business model?

Make sure your existing model works first before you start changing and trying to grow it. If the existing one is not going well, it makes little sense to adapt to a new model. With the launch of our indoor collection we are expanding our offering to our target market. But again, not after research and establishing what it is they want.

4. Is there a quick fix to adapting your business model? 

Not at all, it’s a lengthy process and involves a lot of hard work with a few role players. If the business is growing, then by all means adapt your offering. But if it’s not doing well, it may be a bit risky. And if it’s working, don’t change things drastically, add complimentary products and don’t overstretch your brand.

Related: Develop your business model

In other words, we wouldn’t adapt our business model to sell electronic products. It doesn’t mean that because we are selling lounge suites, we need to sell TV sets too; the two don’t go hand-in-hand.

5. Why in your opinion do business owners adapt their business model? 

Business models are altered mainly due to the need for change, to further grow the business and while doing so, capture more business from the target market. “We took this approach with Mobelli and we hope to grow our business 10 times more in the next few years, says Sachs.

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About the author

Alon Sachs

Alon Sachs, co-founder of the design-led furniture brand – Mobelli Furniture + Living shares his business insight and suggestions as one of SA’s leading entrepreneurs. Mobelli Furniture + Living, a speciality retailer that provides décor and lifestyle products boasting unsurpassed style, comfort and choice while tailoring offerings to specific customer needs and supplying furniture which is specifically suited to the South African market and weather conditions.

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