It’s difficult today to take time to think.
It’s easier to bring up social media on our phone.
But contemplation is critical for happiness in life. Not just in our personal lives or in our work lives. It’s very important to contemplate the business you operate.
Just like individuals, businesses have strengths and weaknesses and everything in between. No two businesses are the same. Coke and Pepsi are similar in a lot of ways. But they’re also very different in a lot of ways. You’d think that after all these years they would basically be the same company. But they’re different.
Your business has strengths and weaknesses, but do you know what they are?
1. What Do Your Customers Love Most?
A good place to start looking is with your customers. Read their reviews. Read the emails they have sent to you. See how they talk about your company and what you’re doing that they like. They probably also mention why they prefer you to another option they have used in the past. This is a really good indication of what you’re good at.
If you don’t have a lot of this type of data you can ask customers. It can seem weird, but you can ask a question such as, “What do you think about our company?”. Just real general. Not leading to the good or the bad. But you should get some good insight. Send it to just a few customers at first. See how it goes. If it goes fine, send out more.
2. What Do Employees Love Doing?
Your employees have their own strengths and weaknesses. They probably jump at certain opportunities and shy away from others. It’s good to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each person. This allows you to better assign tasks and roles. But by doing this you’ll also start to see patterns. This can give you insight into where your company is better than the competition.
3. What Is The Future Of Your Strength?
Being good at something is awesome. Being good at something that is trending downward…isn’t awesome. You can still milk a good thing for awhile, but eventually you have to adapt.
You might be really good at something that is trending upward. But if you feel that the trend is flattening or evening going down, you need to start thinking about your future. It doesn’t mean you have to entirely change what you’re doing, though. You can still turn your strengths over to something that is trending in a good direction.
4. Should You Divert Attention To A Glaring Weakness?
While you’re looking for your strengths you will likely start to identify one or two areas that are glaring weaknesses. Now, a weakness that isn’t important doesn’t matter much. But if you identify something that is causing your business to stagnate, you’ll want to move some attention there.
We like doing the things we’re good at. That can take us a long way. But it might also cause us to overlook important areas. We can only get so good at something after we’ve been doing it for a long time. This is true for individuals and for businesses.
Odds are pretty good that if you took some focus from your biggest strength to instead focus more on your most important weakness that your business would greatly benefit. It might not be fun while you’re doing it, but the rewards will make everybody on the team happy.
For example, Tiger Woods joined the PGA Tour in late 1996 and immediately won two tournaments. Then he won The Masters in April 1997. He was the second longest driver in those years behind only John Daly. Shortly after winning The Masters, Tiger looked at his game and wanted to improve in two areas: 1) Accuracy off the tee and 2) Approach shots.
He took focus off his driving distance. He continued to drive it a long way, but by the end of 1999 he went on the best run of golf in history.
5. Should You Go All In On Your Biggest Strength?
If you’re a new business you might start to see a big strength. Something you and your team like doing and that you have really good potential at doing. It might be wise to put all your focus on this one thing. Forget about the other areas for awhile and see how good you can really get at that one thing.
Now, you’ll want to assess the market. Are early customers also demanding the one thing that you’re good at? Do there seem to be a lot of people that want the same thing?
If those things are all true, you might have a winner.
It’s not always easy to do a self assessment. We can uncover some pretty ugly things by looking internally. But we can also find some really good things. Things that we overlook everyday. Things that could be large opportunities. So take the time to find what you’re good at. It could lead to your biggest growth yet.