One of the first great minds, Socrates, said, “The more I learn, the less I know.” Learning more showed Socrates how much more there was to learn. Answers to questions become more complex, just as the questions become more complex. When we get older, we begin to learn our limitations–hopefully finding creative ways around them. As I get older it is becoming painstakingly clear what things I know I can do and the things I cannot do. This rule needs to apply to you personally, as well as to your business.
Brass tacks: What activities do you perform better than your peers?
As a business owner, what do you do that you are most proud of? Are you a skilled negotiator or a big picture person? Identify what you do for your business that no one else could do if you took a vacation for one month. Write down this list and really sort out how well you perform each of these tasks. Take classes and read books in these areas to keep yourself in top shape? Or, is there someone in your company or an outside contractor that could eventually do some of these tasks better, freeing you up to focus on only what you can do?
As a company, what products do you have that you are most proud of? Where do you know you stand above your competition? There are products/services your company is offering/performing that, if you were honest with yourself, are not being done well or is not good product. Never continue to push mediocre products or services, because the items in question are Sacred Cows: usually goods or services that have been staples within your company that no longer fit into the current market. With that said, there are products and services you offer that are high quality and better than your competition’s. If there weren’t you would already be going out of business.
You need promote what you do best and stop promoting the things you do poorly. This honest assessment is how you will adapt to changing markets and carve out your niche market. Now focus like a laser and go for it!