Focus is a Weapon
As business owners juggle more challenges with reduced staff, new business development can get lost in the avalanche of daily crises. Despite the overload, many firms can make measurable progress by refocusing on the strengths that create their specific pattern of success. In many cases, a relatively straightforward shift in time/resource management can create a clear path to sustainable, profitable growth.
The secret ingredient from here to success is no secret at all. From In Search of Excellence to Good to Great, business advisors and authors highlight the value of a disciplined focus on core strengths. On August 14 (8-10 a.m.), Quadrant Five founder Michael Rosenbaum will present techniques for capitalizing on these competitive advantages at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce offices. We asked him for a preview of the insights he’ll be offering and his responses follow.
First, what’s the elevator pitch for this program?
Business owners can generate more profitable, sustainable growth by focusing more time on their real competitive advantages and reducing their energies in areas that offer no real payoff.
That sounds pretty basic; it’s hard to imagine anyone disagreeing with that concept. But isn’t that what business people do every day?
It’s what they try to do, but they get sidetracked. We’ll talk about ways to identify and correct for those detours on the 14th.
What kind of detours are we talking about here?
Let’s start with the first disconnect in business, which is the difference between what we think we are selling and what the customer is actually buying. In almost every instance in which I have compared managers’ perceptions with those of customers, I’ve identified a gap that represents major opportunity for added profitability and customer loyalty. The next big detour is the chasm between how we set our priorities and how we spend our time. Again, we get distracted by minor issues that drain the energies we should be devoting to Job One. Often, I’ll talk to an owner who says his most important job is being chief salesman for the company, but he’s constantly pulled away from selling by daily crises in the office.
These issues seem to be universal, which either means they are just part of life or, possibly, that they cannot be fixed.
It’s true that they are part of life, but they absolutely can be fixed. Even better, they can be fixed without investing in new staff, new products, new marketing programs or other ventures. Look, every business that survives does so by doing something right. All we’re talking about is a set of techniques for shifting the balance. The more time and thought devoted to the initiatives that add value, the more value we create. The less time and thought we devote to the initiatives with no value, the less value we destroy.
So when you say focus is a weapon, you’re talking about the battle for customers and profits.
Absolutely. Every business, large or small, has to answer three fundamental questions: What do we do better than our competitors? Do our best customers believe we do it better? If they believe it, will they pay for it? The Quadrant Five methodology finds the answers and shows how to benefit from them, but I know you don’t want this interview to become a sales pitch. Suffice it to say that the company that gets the answers to these questions is empowered to shift its focus to the areas where the payoff is greatest.
Does the size of the company or its industry make a difference here?
Only in the details. The idea that companies benefit by focusing on their core strengths is an absolute truth in business. Consider the “hedgehog concept” described in Good to Great, for example. The specific answers and road map for a business will vary, but the value proposition does not change at all.
So what can attendees expect for take-home value when they come to our program?
We’ll be providing some step-by-step ideas for identifying and capitalizing on their core competitive strengths and tools for increasing the share of thoughts, time and dollars arrayed to capitalize on these strengths.
Thanks for your thoughts. To register, click “Corporate Focus/Competitive Advantage,” and reserve your spot.
Last Updated on 2012-07-27 10:40:27.616