The store began as a few scribblings on a napkin at a cafe. In a span of five years, they have grown into a thriving business with a modest turnover. At present, they are the exclusive agents to some of Sweden and Denmark's well-known, designer brands. Their presence amongst architects, interior designers and other such professionals is growing at a pace that would make many envious.
But as you may have already guessed their growth and success were no easy feat. Every meter gained had to be earned with an investment of effort and energy. Most businesses fail within the first twelve months. If they survive that then there is the 24 month hurdle to overcome. If a business has managed to stick around 5 years there is a greater sense of stability and that it is doing something right.
From my experience a sense of success can sometimes breed a sense of complacency or even worse a sense of superiority. That is, sometimes people think they have stumbled on to the secret formula of success and all they have to do is keep on doing what they are doing. Of course as many businesses know this is more like the formula of crash and burn. It has been written about in hundreds of articles and books. Nonetheless, what were once global empires of enterprise are now empty ruins only spoken in terms of what once was or has been.
One of the latest examples of an empire crumbling is Research In Motion (RIM) makers of the famous or infamous Blackberry. At the top of their might they spoke arrogantly about the demise of the iPhone. RIM truly believed no significant development had to be made to their phones. They thought they knew what the business world wanted. It seems they thought wrong and are presently trying to cling on to a market that is nearly beyond their reach. Since 2007, their market value has tanked by 65%. RIM's desperation is tantamount to building a sandbag wall after the flood has already hit.
As for the designer furniture store their near future looks extremely bright, but they are under no illusion that it will always be so. Their success has not gone to their heads and left them feeling satiated. It has rather rekindled their hunger to stretch the business beyond where they are today.
I believe hunger in business is a necessity and should never been undervalued. Hunger stokes the drive to strive. Every now and then I think it is important for an individual or a business to create their own wake-up call and to take a hard look at themselves. Simply asking the question, 'Are we staying hungry?' is a strong first step.