Well done, to all the SmartCompany award winners!! I know what it took to get there!
Well done to all. Business is hard, there is no doubt about that – hard both in the sense of hours and work – and even more importantly, the thinking required. It is said that thinking is the hardest thing to do, and business requires smart thinking, preparedness to evolve and change and commit to the details required to differentiate the product or service in the market.
But then there is staying ahead. How hard is that? What a challenge to stay focused on the things that bring results. It requires constant discipline and a clear strategy.
And just the mention of clear strategy brings up its own challenges. What is a clear strategy? My definition, thanks to Harvey Martin of The Executive Connection, is that strategy is (put simply) the way an organisation endeavours to differentiate itself positively from its competitors using its relative strengths to better satisfy customers’ needs.
Then there is the key battle that all the award winners have had to face: market differentiation. Whether the organisation is business-to-business or business-to-consumer, the customer wants a point of difference: service, quality and or price. As we discussed last week, if price is the only differentiator we are in commodity hell!
Of course, having a point of difference counts for nothing without marketing; we live in a noisy world and an even noisier marketplace. Having the right product is only part of the challenge; getting that message out is the even larger and generally costlier challenge!
The 16 years I spent in the cosmetics industry – one of the most competitive consumer marketplaces – reinforced the benefits of a clear and focused message! And really hard work!
I also learned in these 16 years that great sales people who believe in the product are a critical part of the marketing chain. In fact, let’s face it, great people are essential to great business results!
Having been there, I know what it takes to achieve success. So, well done to the winners and to SmartCompany for supporting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial thinking!
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