Peteraf (1993) states that market leaders are always driven by discipline. According to him, for a firm to become a market leader, the firm needs to not only choose its customers but also needs to narrow its focus. Besides, he states that the firm also needs to dominate its market.
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Additionally, he is of the opinion that a company cannot succeed in the present society by endeavoring to provide several goods and services to several markets. However, he opines that an organization like 24 Hour Fitness should rather develop services that cannot be imitated by other service providers. Only then will they gain competitive edges over other players.
According to Peteraf (1993), there are three kinds of value discipline. He states that companies endeavoring to be successful may adopt the value disciplines in order for them to be the market leaders within the industry. However, each of the three kinds of value discipline relies on the type of service or product provided by the organization as well as the culture maintained by the given organization.
Operational excellence is one of the three value disciplines. For 24 Hour Fitness to succeed, it needs to provide good customer service. Additionally, the firm needs to charge customer friendly prices. A good number of customers consider the price being charged as well as service delivery provided by organizations.
Besides, for 24 Hour Fitness to grow it needs to provide the lowest cost services. Additionally, it should minimize problems that may hinder the provision of quality services to its customers. The success of this discipline is based on a number of principles. These include efficient and effective people management. Employees should be trained efficiently and at very low costs. Additionally, for speed as well as efficiency to be enhanced, the processes between the organization and its suppliers should be merged.
For the firm to control its costs and to provide rigorous quality, it should be devoted to operational excellence that is geared to measuring and monitoring every process, frequently looking for means of minimizing costs and enhancing quality of its services. Again, for the firm to grow there is need for it to manage effectively the expectations of its customers.
24 Hour Fitness should be guided by the principle stating that ‘efficiency is killed by variety’. It is paramount to note that companies that are operationally excellent offer only a single or a limited amount of service or product options. Successful firms also ensure that their customer expectations are met accordingly (Ansoff, 1965).
The second type of value discipline is product leadership. An organization like 24 Hour Fitness should provide services and products capable of pushing performance boundaries.
The firm should always strive to make sure that it provides the best achievable level of service coupled by features capable of meeting the needs and expectations of its customers. There are numerous principles on which product leadership is founded. First, organizations should encourage continuous innovations. Second, risk orientation should be paramount.
Being innovative, organizations should recognize risks and ensure they are adequately looked into. 24 Hour Fitness should also recognize that the present success of the firm as well as its future prospects depends on excellent product design. Its success also depends on its employees. The organization should also recognize the necessity to lead and educate its market concerning the numerous benefits of the services they provide.
The third type of value discipline is customer intimacy. For an organization like 24 Hour Fitness to achieve its objectives, it needs to deliver the specific requirements of its customers. It is significant for the firm to select its high value customers and get to know their details. Additionally, the firm should ensure that its services are readily available to meet customer requirements as and when needed.
Strategies that need to be implemented by 24 Hour Fitness
Focus, product differentiation as well as cost leadership are the major generic competitive strategies that 24 Hour Fitness can employ to gain competitive edges. Strategies are always formulated in order to accomplish strategic goals.
Strategies refer to the courses of action explaining how business organizations can attain their goals taking into consideration their internal weaknesses and strengths together with their external threats and opportunities. Strategy implementation involves the translation of planned strategies into results and actions and this involves management functions like planning, leading, organizing and controlling.
Three major strategies can be implemented by 24 Hour Fitness in order to gain competitive edges over other players within the industry. The first one is product differentiation. This refers to a strategy in which the firm will endeavor to gain competitive edges over other players within the industry by increasing customers’ willingness to pay for the services they offer.
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Differentiation strategy will make the firm to be unique within the industry and this makes customers to value the organization together with its services. This calls for flexibility and innovation among the employees (Peteraf, 1993).
Cost leadership is another strategy that can make 24-hour fitness to gain competitive edges over other players within the industry. Through this strategy, the firm will aim at providing low-cost services than any other firm within the industry. For the firm to attain this, it should maximize on all cost advantages.
Focus Strategy is yet another important strategy that can be implemented by the organization in order to grow and gain competitive advantages over other players. With focus strategy, the firm chooses specific market segment, ensures that all clients within the given market are served perfectly or cheaply as compared to the competitors.
Focus strategy is dependent on differentiation as well as low-cost position but its main aim is to serve better a narrower target market in comparison to other competitors. A combination of these three strategies will play a key role in making 24 Hour Fitness to grow and to gain competitive edges over other players within the industry (Peteraf, 1993).
The need for strategies
Business organizations without strategies will most likely fail to meet the needs of their customers. Therefore, such organizations will most likely be uncompetitive. In the end, the firms will be unprofitable because of strategic drift. Therefore, for business organizations to continue being very competitive within the market, they need to have strategies (Schlie, & Yip, 2000).
Several benefits are gained from the implementation of strategies. Implementation of various strategies is vital for organizations like 24-Hour Fitness since their implementation will align the firm around every activity significant to the firm. Additionally, strategies communicate to the stakeholders the direction of the business. Besides, it provides stakeholders with information on how the organization’s vast resources of firms are to be allocated.
Finally, strategies offer frameworks to acquire funding as well as approvals for initiatives supporting the strategy. Above all, strategies facilitate the needed change within the organization.
Ansoff, H. I. (1965). Corporate strategy: An analytic approach to business policy for growth and expansion. New York, Mc-Graw-Hill.
Peteraf, M. A. (1993). The cornerstones of competitive advantage: A re-source – based view. Strategic Management Journal, 14(3), 179-191.
Schlie, E & Yip, G.S. (2000). Regional follows global: Strategy mixes in the world automotive industry. European Management Journal, 18(3), 343-366.