It has been my experience after more than 20 years in the technology sector that the key to profitability and growth is the ample allocation of resources to your core, without getting derailed by the latest buzz. In one word: focus.
While maintaining a watchful eye for new opportunities and strategic moves is important in grabbing market share, it’s best to put faith in your core competency. Only when your product has stabilized and is scalable to meet your growth metrics can you begin exploring new ventures.
And, even then, it’s critical to continually recognize the difference between excitement and innovation, avoid distracting competition and seek out strong product partnerships.
What’s the difference between excitement and innovation?
Every idea isn’t necessarily a good idea. Creative brainstorming sessions may produce unlimited ideas but, without unlimited resources (human and financial alike), many new initiatives are not viable.
Understand the difference between excitement and true innovation. When in doubt, remember that real innovation yields success in a new space, and excitement is only a new idea without a plan to tie it back to your core business.
Don’t get distracted by competition
Many companies fall victim to diverting resources to new promising ventures, instead of focusing on maximizing and expanding current market share. Concentrate on what customers actually need.
It may seem counterintuitive to discount the competition, but competitive moves can be a major distraction in the form of an unattainable dangling carrot.
If a company is constantly attempting to match its competitors, it will always lag behind, chasing customers while the competition is working on the next idea or product. It’s not always smart to take the gamble and chase distractions that could potentially lead to wasted resources, dead ends and a neglected product that was working the entire time.
Forge a path that causes your competition to follow you.
Find complementary partners
If product supplementation is necessary for growth, consider seeking a partner who is already doing it well. These are people who have invested greatly in their core competencies and if such potential partners are vetted thoroughly, your time to market could be greatly improved.
Executives should identify realistic and relevant partners who can help balance skill sets while supporting the company vision.
Mutually beneficial partnerships can accelerate growth for both parties, but they require communication, trust and reliability. Ensure your partnership is sustainable with a firm agreement and keen focus, and plan on cultivating both companies’ core products.
Don’t underestimate a cultural fit when seeking partnerships. If there is a lack of alignment as to speed, marketing vision, target market and success metrics, a bad partnership can be worse than not being in the game at all.
Identifying and championing the right kind of innovation and product expansion, as well as forging strategic partnerships, will strengthen your core competency as a business. Leaders who prioritize product over market will set themselves up for stable, scalable growth in the future. ●