Steve Jobs once said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. It really means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that are out there. You have to pick carefully.”
As entrepreneurs, we passionately pursue many ideas – the seeds that germinate to become successful businesses. And that growth inspires us. Yet, as tempting as it is to plant more in order to harvest more, a growth strategy that targets too many markets with undifferentiated services becomes too complex to manage and grow effectively. Resources and management time gets spread too thin making it hard to adequately respond to more focused competitors. So, if you want to be more selective in how you compete:
- First, evaluate your competitive landscape to identify how you can Compete Differently and Compete Meaningfully – the first two principles of a Big Strategy.
- Next, based on what you discover in #1 above, create an exciting, new vision – the destination where your company will focus all its efforts. This vision will help you and your team begin to reduce, focus and simplify. For example, go from “We will become the leading full-service plumbing company for new construction, retrofits, and repair in our markets” (broad, undifferentiated) to “We will become known as the vintage-home plumbing experts in our market” (focused, differentiated).
- Then get your team together and begin making a working list of activities and projects that you need to stop, start or continue doing. Think: What could get in our way of achieving our new vision?
Remember, the key to developing a higher-performing vision and business strategy is uncovering ways to compete that your customers value and your competition can’t match. It’s hard work, but if done properly, the payoff can change the future of your company.
Here’s the Bottom-Line: Successful growth strategies selectively shift resources to areas where you have a clear advantage over your competition and actively decrease investments in areas where you don’t.
I hope you found this topic helpful. Comments, questions or suggestions are always welcomed.
— Tony Collins