Throughout school and college, we've been conditioned to invest time in things we don't particularly enjoy doing. Don't like math? Yet, you have to spend a good 10-12 years of your life learning the intricacies of this subject. Same goes for how companies function too. Well-established companies are the worst at investing in what makes them distinct. Apple, on the other hand, has managed to stay ahead of its competitors and keep its customers loyal all through the years. This is mainly because even at the top of its game, Apple continues to invest in what differentiates it from its competitors and improve its offerings. The time to take poor offerings and make it comparable to competitors is long past. To best engage consumers and keep pace with competitors, companies must figure out what they are good at and push their offerings towards excellence. Here's how they can do it:
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Identify what makes your company different
This might seem like the obvious thing to do, but a lot of companies overlook this important factor in their efforts of mass production. In order to pin-point true factors of distinction and think seriously about what you like most about your company, create an impartial scoring system that considers the many dimensions and data sources of a business. External opinions are also valuable and entrepreneurs can turn to prospect surveys and customers to identify what real-world shoppers value most and why. Ideally, businessmen should settle on two to three best differentiators.
Hire the right team
A business is its people, and in order to drive your business to success, you must also drive the employees who control your business's important decisions. When recruiting staff, it's always better to find the right person and create a position for them in your company, instead of forcing the wrong person into a predetermined position. You must be in tandem with the sensibilities of those you're asking something of, and the best way to uncover what encourages people is to spend time with them. Increasing face-time throughout your company will reap rewards when it's time to get to work.
Once you have the right goal and team in place, you need to start working towards the goal. Progressing differentiators is often hard work and mostly goes unappreciated. However, silent work is generally the most valuable work. As someone who is responsible for sustaining differentiation, you have to find appreciation in knowing that you're doing what's needed to maintain long-term company health. Putting in long hours to get the work done and being an inspiration to those you're working with is part of an employer's job.
There's no time to be humble while running a business and companies must be weary of getting buried in technical debt. Making adjustments to invest in the right differentiators may seem frightening, but it only gets hard to dig your way out once you're in too deep.
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