I suspect Iron Man is not good at everything. Perhaps, like us, his greatest weakness is himself! Fortunately, few of us have the same megalomaniac, narcissistic tendencies of a Tony Stark.
Simply put: No business owner can be all things to his firm. No one person is great at every aspect of building and running a business–business development, R&D, sales, finance and accounting, operations, HR and strategic planning. All owners either hire or outsource various aspects of the business to reflect the unique competency of their firm.
Most business owners tend to build their firms on one of these three foundational approaches: market, systems or product.
They love expanding their business into new markets. Their approach is to continually tweak and adapt the firms’ products and services to address the need of every potential customer. (These businesses often suffer from having a too diffuse customer base). This tendency toward mass customization often leads to mass chaos or unnecessary complexity for service-based businesses.
They love to create orderly processes. They build the system and processes needed for when the business scales-up and trusts “the new customers will come” or that the product is “good enough” to attract them. These owners have often had very successful management careers within large firms and apply that expertise to their own companies.
These types are passionate about creating new products and services, often at the expense of needed systems or, they are out of sync with the market. These business owners are often industry experts or true virtuosos in their field.
From the perspective of each foundation, the other two appear less solid and, frankly, foreign to the owners’ approach to building a firm. The other arenas look like distractions or they become the inevitable and unenviable “ugly” parts of our companies. These are the parts that consume an inordinate amount of time and energy for the owner. In truth, these areas for building value into your firm are either ignored or become energy vampires, sucking life out of the business.
What can you do to shore up the “other” foundations of your business? Focus on the one you love and develop a strategic plan to gradually hire, or outsource, the rest! Like the Richardsons at OtterBox, focus on the strength that put energy back into you firm’s energy grid.
Would you like to get clarity on what does (and doesn’t) power your arc reactor to improve your business? Until October 15, 2013, I’ll offer complimentary access to the Apex profile tool ($79 value) to further your learning. Just write to me to get access! In addition, I will provide, to the first 5 respondents, a complimentary 45 minute session during which we will identify your next steps to leverage your profile to build value into your business.