And how can you get better at that?
Have you ever seriously asked yourself, “What does our business do best?” The natural first response may be to proclaim it’s the product or service you sell the most of.
But not so fast. Maybe it is, but answering without more confirmation could be holding back your business.
The truth is more accurately revealed in a series of questions as opposed to that knee-jerk first response. Knowing and owning the real answer could mean huge dividends for you and your business.
Here are three useful questions to ask yourself.
Does This Product or Service Align With the Company’s Vision-Mission-Values?
Hopefully, this goes without saying, but sometimes businesses get involved in products and services that do not fit their culture. As long as you use a value system to guide your company, this one should be a no-brainer. There may be short-term, flash-in-the-pan successes, but any long-term “best” answers should bring a resounding yes.
Is It Profitable for My Business?
Almost all products and services have expenses associated with them. Make sure the input costs are accurate for raw material, labor, direct marketing costs, overhead, etc. Though it can be time-consuming to calculate, you must know if your margins are accurate and acceptable.
Does your average selling price reflect the profit margin necessary to maintain a healthy business? Is it what you thought it was? Lower-margin items can be what you “do best,” but you must know the actual profit margin.
Does It Energize Me and My Team?
This question probably wasn’t on your radar. But it is right up there with having vision-mission-value alignment as far as the overall impact it has on your company.
Think of it as “playing to your strengths,” a term you often hear coaches use in sports. A team’s chances of winning are greatest when it’s able to leverage its strengths.
Some businesses may be very good at providing a service or selling a product, but they’re not energized by it. It sort of sucks the life out of them. It is possible, though unlikely, that this could be identified as what your company does best. If this is the case, you may want to consider making some changes.
Why be energized? A Gallup study showed employee engagement increased six times and employees were three times more likely to view their quality of life as excellent when they are energized and playing to their strengths. Also, it showed a whopping 12.5 percent increase in productivity—pretty compelling!
How to Get Even Better
Once you are able to answer “yes” to each of these three questions, build a team around you that would also be in agreement. It is important to note that there are often necessary functions of a business that may not energize you, but they are critical to providing “what your business does best.” As the business owner, you would be best served to intentionally employ workers or retain outsourced solutions that do get energized by doing those tasks.
Every business should know what it does best. By following this simple process, you can validate it truly is what you do best and provide a process to ensure your business keeps getting better.