The business focus of your company is exquisitely tailored to one industry niche or one customer segment. You still may be way off target.
No matter what the size of your business, or how well you capture the business value of your offering, you may be thinking too small. Let’s explore.
Offer core capabilities to new niche customers.
You worked hard creating a business focus around a specific capability. You target one specific industry niche. You target providing product and service solutions to the same specific industry niche as a number of known competitors. You constantly compete against the same folks. Your customers predictably award fractions of the pieces of the contract pie to the various competitors. The whole competitive game of winning contracts is not as exciting or challenging as it once was.
Why continue to think small? You built an impressive resume within your specific niche industry. Expand your business focus. Identify the next specific industry niche which your expertise is exquisitely well-suited for. Re-energize your teams in the process. With eyes, ears and brain power freshly re-focused on potential new industry niches, current customers also benefit. Everyone is pulled out of their current level of creative complacency.
Focus on partnerships attracting higher value customers.
The lens for your business focus revolves around doing business with a specific customer size. What is the enduring business value of this current customer base? While current customers represent the basis of your revenue stream, are they “high value” or just the folks you always attract? Are the types of projects, and the size of contracts, moving your business forward competitively? Or do these customers hold your business back from unleashing the true breadth and depth of your core capabilities?
Why continue to think small? Explore ways of doing business with higher value customers. Consider partnering with small companies offering technological and professional capabilities that complement your current arsenal of core capabilities. Working together, you attract larger niche-industry clients, exquisitely well-suited for your increased portfolio of product and service solutions.
Your business model is small-minded.
Moment of truth time. Your business focus is based on an authoritarian command-control business model. That means you hire a workforce of followers who are anxious to be lead. The business focus of your company preserves your leadership’s need to dictate, pontificate and direct. That business focus can also reinforce gaps in business and professional competency. Ultimately, you short-sell yourselves.
Why continue to think small? There is a readily-accessible solution: education. For everyone. When your business focus is based on a leadership and workforce model of continuous self-improvement, everyone moves forward together. Everyone learns how to think and confidently question. Everyone is hired for their ability to work collaboratively. Everyone contributes to expanding the arsenal of core capabilities that you offer to existing and new customers.
Thinking small is not a viable business focus.
No matter whether you are a leader reading this post, or an employee looking to achieve Something More out of your career, take a solid look at your business focus. Thinking small is not an option.
Expand your professional development horizon. Think about the business value you currently offer to your current markets and customers. Are you satisfied or challenged by what you see?
What would it take to work with the types of customers seeking the business focus your current company brings to the table? What type of company would you need to work for in order to do business with the types of customers seeking the business focus you, yourself, bring to the table?
Babette N. Ten Haken is a strategist, coach, analyst, author and blogger. Her focus: the interrelationship between teams, leadership and culture in technology and manufacturing. Her Workshops target professional excellence in the execution of strategy. Her Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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