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the
manager
SPRING 2011
— MARKET PROFILE —
THE BUSINESS
MAKE
YOUR
MARK
As few businesses operate in a market free from competitors,
Te Manager
looks at ways to stand out from the crowd
WORDS
CIARÁN BRENNAN
IT’S A RARE BUSINESS
which
starts out with a completely clear
feld; because if something is worth
doing, it's very likely that someone
is already doing it. In fact, one of
the frst questions that any budding
entrepreneur should ask is: “If this is
such a good idea, then why has no-one
come up with it before?”
No matter how competitive a market
is, there is almost always room to get
in, as long as the start-up business does
its research and fnds an opportunity it
can exploit or a niche it can fll.
Take, for example, Archerfeld Links,
the golf club and country retreat which
opened for business in 2004 roughly
20 miles from Edinburgh on the East
Lothian coast, an area which keen
golfers will know already boasts two
of the UK's fnest courses in Muirfeld
and North Berwick Golf Club.
So how did Archerfeld set out to
separate itself from the feld?
“We were entering into a very
competitive market,” says head of
sales Alan Murray, “so we needed to
make sure that we stood out from the
crowd. We knew that we would be able
“Our ethos
is 'we play
a different
game' and
we do all
that we can
to live up
to that”
to provide excellent facilities – and
we've done that – but we also knew
that would be the very least that was
expected of us. We made a conscious
decision to diferentiate ourselves by
our approach to hospitality. Our ethos
is 'we play a diferent game' and we do
all that we can to live up to that.”
To immediately set themselves apart,
the Archerfeld team decided to move
away from the rule-ridden atmosphere
that pervades most long-established
golf clubs and instead make their club
a more relaxed venue which would
welcome players and their families.
“Tis is a club for the 21st century,”
says Murray. “We have no clubhouse
cliques, no petty rules and no stufy
dress code... all we ask is that our
members wear 'smart casual' clothes in
the clubhouse and on the courses. We
make it possible for golfers to get the
maximum from their game, while their
families can take full advantage of the
rest of the facilities we have to ofer,
including fshing and access to our new
spa which ofers treatments using the
fnest products from around the world.
"We're not a hotel; we're a golf club
with excellent accommodation and we
like to think that we treat our members
and guests as individuals."
Graeme Struthers of Get Games has
his own view on how companies can
squeeze in to crowded markets. "When
you're operating against a bigger
operation, you should look out for
cracks in the pavement," he says. "Te
way big companies operate means they
will leave gaps... niches that companies
like ours can live in quite comfortably."
Get Games is a UK-based digital
download service that sells computer