By Alan Graner
If someone asks what business you’re in, most likely you’d say laser manufacturing or massive storage for computer networks.
But if you think about it, that’s not really the business you’re in…it’s the industry you’re in, which makes you just another bozo on the bus, indistinguishable from your competitors.
Even more dangerous, by limited your vision of your real business, you make yourself vulnerable to future growth—even survival.
The classic example is Western Union. They were in the long-distance telegraph business. So when Alexander Graham Bell offered to sell him his telephone patents, they said no. They weren’t in the short-distance telephone business.
But what if they defined themselves as in the communications business. Then it would make sense to investigate Bell’s invention.
Railroads were in the train business. If they were in the freight hauling or people moving business, they would have expanded to automobiles and airplanes.
How to define the business you’re really in
Instead of video sales services, think of yourself as in the entertainment business. That would allow you to branch out into moviemaking or perhaps producing live events.
Determine what you’re customers and clients are really buying. You may be selling cars while they’re buying freedom of the road.
If you don’t know what your customers are really busying…ASK THEM!
For more in-depth help, I recommend downloading the pdf “How to Determine the Business You’re REALLY in and Other Tales of McLuhan Thinking, Innovation and Integral Awareness” by Mark Federman http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/BusinessYoureReallyIn.pdf.
(Disclosure: Daly-Swartz Public Relations has no connections with the company publishing the PDF.)
So, what’s your business?
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA business public relations and marketing content firm. For content that makes you stand out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.dsprel.com.