Establish What You Are Good At – And Do It BETTER Than Anyone Else…

A glance through business history shows companies that have survived and thrived from the early days, when they were SME’s, through to today where they are multi-billion global organisations. They are household names – P&G, Hewlett Packard, Marriott, Walmart and many, many more. They have all (pretty well) had their ups and downs, but certain things have enabled them to see these times through and press on.

They have some common traits. They most certainly all have a clear purpose – as we covered in our last article – something that motivates and drives them and their people continuously. Something to stick to when times are tough – as Lady Macbeth said:

‘‘But stay your courage to the sticking place and we’ll not fail’’.

These companies have never tried to grasp the latest ‘fad’ and make the most of it. Whatever they have done has followed their purpose. Of course, they have tried different things, but these things always tied in with why they are in business – with their purpose – just like Disney’s purpose ‘‘To make people happy’ – all they do, whether it be cartoons, streaming, theme parks, is designed to do just that. Their people simply try to do that, always – it is what drives them.

So, you must have a purpose – something that motivates, drives and is like your guiding star – it is what you care about and what motivates you. There are two other things to consider beyond this:

  1. What can you be the very best in your field at and why is this?
  2. What are your economic drivers?

You need to determine what your business can be the best in its field at and what you possess (or need) as a business that could put you in this position. Do you have a unique product or service? Is your efficiency from order to delivery far superior to that of your competition? Do you have better and more customer focused people? Are you innovative and innovate more than competition? The simple question here is ‘why would your customers/clients want to buy from you and not the competition?’

Conversely, it’s important to understand what you cannot be the best in your field at. There are factors that affect this – for example, having the competence to be the best will not deliver unless supported by the capacity to deliver. Equally there might be areas where you COULD become the best but don’t possess the competencies.

When assessing what you can be the best at – be truthful.

So, we maintain that if you have a real purpose and can be the best in your field, profits will follow. To add to that you must recognise what it is about your business that drives your business’s economic performance in the most productive way. Something that makes the economic engine ‘tick’ and indeed ‘purr’. Gillette, some years ago changed their economic ‘denominator’. They originally measured profit by division but because of key changes in their business in terms of product range, recognised that there was a more effective driver of their profits. They moved to profit made per customer. This move coincided with the launch of the ‘Mach 3’ shaving system – using cartridges rather than disposable razors. It reflected the sheer economic power of repeatable purchases by customer, multiplied by the high profit made per unit purchased. So, ask this question of your business ‘what is the main driver of your economic engine?’ Is it profit per customer because you look to optimise what each customer spends on your product range, profit by brand, profit per customer visit (retailers for example).

To establish your best economic driver, answer this question – ‘’If you could pick one and only one ratio – profit per ‘x’ – to systematically increase over time – what ‘x’ would have the greatest and most sustainable impact on your business’s economic engine? This question and the answer you come up with will give you a profound insight into what really makes your business tick economically and what you should be focusing on and driving. For Gillette ‘x’ became ‘customer’. What is your ‘x’?

So, having purpose and being passionate about it, recognising what you can be the best at and identifying and then driving your most effective economic denominator will help your business not only survive the toughest times but also thrive and lead your market.

You need to know what you are really good at and then make the most of it.

For help and advice on establishing this and giving you the springboard for success, get in touch with us at or call us on 0116 232 5231.

Why not have a look at our online learning platform, E-Learn, where you can find our interactive video-based online courses which combine professional presenters, animated graphics, interactive games and questions to keep participants engaged and are available anytime, anyplace on any web-enabled device. E-Learn courses are developed in accordance with current legislation, accredited by industry leading associations and approved by professional bodies.

Click here to access an E-Learn free trial.

The Tinderbox Team

Courses Related to This Article

Customer Service

This course will make it very clear exactly what we mean by customer service and why it’s vital.

Learn More