Leverage Your Strengths

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to NOT DO EVERYTHING.  You need to remember that you are only one human, one warm body, and that you have physical limitations, though you may not think these physical limits apply to you.  So when entrepreneurs ask me “how can I grow and scale my business”, I say stop doing so much.  The best thing you can do to grow or succeed is to identify the thing that you have that no one else has or the part of the chain, business or industry that is your greatest strength and focus your efforts on that thing.

I had a friend who managed soup to nuts for his company; the making of the product, preparing, packaging, marketing, selling, and distributing.  Now his business is in a relatively young industry and requires a high level of quality so it’s easy to see why he would manage the entire business chain. However, if he wants to scale it will be difficult and very costly to expand and scale the entire soup to nuts process.  He is arguably a leader in his space so when I asked him what was the hardest part of his business model to crack, he said the distribution.  There are a few huge buyers in his market and a ton of little tiny ones.  So landing the large distribution partner was the gorilla effort.  His ability to sell and provide what was necessary to get distribution was his strength and if it had taken him years, it would surely take others years as well.  So maybe his best opportunity to scale was to find a business model that allowed vetted and trusted others to do the production under his supervision and he could allow them to take some of the financial risk for the production business in exchange for my friend distributing their product for a set wholesale price.

Seems so simple but everyone gets caught up in the day to day and forgets to think about what they are really good at and how they can leverage that strength and let go of the things (at least partially) that are not their secret sauce in order to focus their limited number of hours in the day.  So sit down and think about what your or your company’s secret sauce is and see if you can divert non secret sauce efforts to your golden goose to grow the company.