As a company, what products do you have that you’re most proud of? Where do you know you stand above your competition? In one of my companies, we have a skill assessment we give to all applicants. In short they assess their skill in a wide range of home improvement fields (carpentry, electrical, etc). Without fail 80% of the applicants give themselves a top assessments in most categories. The fact is this superman is rare, and when I ask them further questions it is quite obvious that they are far from what they claim in this broad range of skills. In fact, research shows ”that 44 percent of applicants lied about their work histories, 41 percent lied about their education, and 23 percent falsified credentials or licenses.” My experience is that potential hires believe they are when un-challenged and left to themselves would “try their hand at it” without customers. This would surely end in disaster and disappointment. The fact is they do not know what they do not know and this makes them dangerous.
Are you doing the same? Are you really being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses? There are services/products your own company is offering or performing that, if you were honest, you know are not being done well or is not good product. With that said, there are products and services you offer that are high quality and better then your competition. You need promote these and stop promoting the things you “know you do not know.”
So how do you know what you are best at and what your best products/services are? Hire a business coach or ask your accountant to come in and give you and your company an audit. Generally, an audit is an evaluation of any person, system, project or product using a systematic and unbiased evaluation of data, operations, and performance based on records and evidence. You are paying coaches and accountants to give you an honest, unbiased assessment that will be worth more than their fee. Making a mistake is human, continuing to make the same mistake is downright irresponsible when employees count on you for their livelihood. Anyone approaching the age of 50 knows about a stress test, where a doctor pushes you to exercise while monitoring your vitals. Think of a coach and accountant as doing the same thing for you. Take their expertise; take their advice.
Once you have an honest assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses, turn this on you competition. Where do they fall short where you excel, and visa versa? I spend more time studying my potential competition than any other item in my preparation while starting a new business. I am like a general preparing for war. I want to know all their pricing, how they answer the phone, and how they respond to leads. I will buy their product or use their services to gauge the quality.
Now you know yourself and your competition in an honest way. Take what you learned and channel it into your mission statement, your vision statement, your tagline, and every marketing opportunity. Be the best at what you do best, and you will succeed!
To learn more read 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Start-Up Success.