I was recently talking to a potential business coaching client at a conference who was going on and on about his latest pet project. He had grown “bored” of his business and had started focusing his time and attention elsewhere, on new products and services, to keep things interesting and exciting. And over the course of the past year or so, he’d noticed his core business starting to waver a bit. What used to be a solid business had been taken for granted and now was struggling. Does this sound familiar in your own company? I think a lot of company owners can relate to the feeling of being bored in their business and wanting to find new outlets, particularly if you’ve met a stride and things are working well in your business otherwise. But you could find the company losing traction over time. So today I want to discuss this normal, but avoidable, phase of being a business owner and what you should do.
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Step 1: Find Your Core Value Creator
While every business is different, there is one common element that transcends industries and that is your core value creator. This is the one thing that you do for your customers and your marketplace. This comes before the products, the services, the pricing, and all the little details. It’s the one thing that you do better than everyone else and the reason that you are in business. Maybe you provide customers with a fine dining experience. Maybe you provide your customers with home improvements that they can trust and rely on. Whatever it is that makes your business unique, that is your core value creator and should be the first thing you look at when looking to pair things down. What do you do that creates the most value? That is what your customers are really buying from you. And what you should be focusing your business attention on.
Step 2: Identify Profit Generators
The next thing you want to pay attention to is your profit generators. What is it that you do that creates the most profit for your company? Notice I did not say where most of your revenue is created. Revenue and profit are not the same. Where is most of your profit coming from? For most of us, you can identify a small selection of products or services that generate the most profit for your business. And chances are these are the products that closely align with your core value from Step 1. You will likely find many of your products failing to hit the mark here, which will play a big role in where to focus your attention moving forward.
Step 3: Pare It Down
The last step in the process is to put it all together. Now that you have a good idea of what value you create for your customers and what products or services generate the most profit, it should be clear where you should spend your time. Focus your attention on projects that align with something you’re great at, something that people value economically and are willing to pay for, and something that generates profit for you. You get the thrill of a new and exciting project but remain focused on growth for your business.
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