Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Strategy Step 1: Understanding Identity 1

One good step in strategy is understanding your business identity. Look in a conceptual mirror, at your business, not yourself; consider honestly what you see in that mirror. Who you are as a business, how you’re different, what you like to do, what you’re especially good at, and what you’re bad at.

This is like a fingerprint. It’s unique to you. Or, in this case, unique to your business.

Think about strengths and weaknesses. Think about core competence. What makes you special? What can you do for people that’s different or better than what anybody else can do?

You can’t do it in a vacuum. You have to do something other people will pay money for. It’s not all about you. Still, it’s a good first step. Start there.

(image credit: arfo/Shutterstock)

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  • http://twitter.com/kdbreviews Kate DuBois

    Tim, I like your analogy of making your business identity as (you)nique as your fingerprint and knowing what your core competency is.

    In a new book I just finished previewing Built To Sell by John Warrilow, which I recommend to anyone starting or growing a business, he talks about how important it is to standardize your core compentency service or product and then focus only on that unique identity to your customers.

    What’s interesting to me about standardizing your core competency is that even if you don’t plan on selling your business, by running it with that as a potential “options strategy” (especially in this economy) you will run your business more efficiently and profitably, move toward being #1 in your market, and create an options exit strategy on your terms including the possibility of a “retirement-fund” sale to a more generic branded competitor.