Differentiate or Die!

If you do not differentiate your business from your competitors, you are just another commodity! Being a commodity means that your products are no better than anyone else’s. This drives down your prices, erases profits, and eventually kills your business.

differentiate

I wrote about what causes commoditization and how to avoid it in a post called Why Does Your Business Exist and Why Should We Care.

In this post Apple entered the MP3 market as a late comer. They were not the “first mover” and the market space already had a large number of competitors who competed on price. The market space was already commoditized.

Apple knew this but they understood that they could still dominate the space by clearly differentiating themselves from their competitors. They identified their key differentiators, measured themselves against their competitors, and realized that they were head and shoulders above the others. They entered the market and still dominate it today!

The Sleep Revolution

Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time

This week’s book review is The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington

Huffington provides a very detailed study on the importance of sleep and the impact that lack of sleep has on every aspect of our lives – our health, ability to focus, productivity, safety, life expectancy, etc. Unfortunately, most of what was covered in the book was not revolutionary but is knowledge that is already commonly available. However, it is a good consolidation of these studies and findings.

How To Get Powerful Business Results

If I had to pick one activity, habit or tool that would be the most significant thing a business could implement to get powerful business results, I would say it would be the habit of goals. And, by “habit of goals”, I am not referring to the habit of setting goals.

results

I am talking about the habit of setting powerful, focused goals and implementing a system to monitor the progress and deliver on these goals.

This is why I use one page tools like the Strategy Summary to clearly define where my business is going and to measure progress against these targets. I have seen businesses and non-profits alike make stunning progress in their market space simply by focusing their leadership and their staff on their most important objectives and reinforcing these priorities each and every day.

The Cost of No Change

We have all experienced a situation where a potential client refused to purchase our product or service because they were happy with the status quo and afraid of change. Basically, their fear of change outweighed any concerns and frustrations that they were experiencing with their current way of doing business.

change

Until we are able to convince the client that what we offer can add more value than pain, we will typically have a hard time selling anything.

I ran into a great example of this about five years ago when I bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad.

I had been using my iPad for doing a lot of writing while traveling on business. The iPad was light, very convenient to pack and perfect for doing some simple document editing or article writing. When I bought the iPad, one of the sales people was trying to upsell and get me to buy a wireless keyboard. At that point I saw this as simply an upsell attempt. I had not experienced any of the pain of trying to scroll and type on a small screen.

Smart Thinking

Three Essential Keys to Solve Problems, Innovate, and Get Things Done

This week’s book review is Smart Thinking by Art Markman, PHD.

Smart Thinking explores three essential keys to solving problems, innovating and getting things done. Basically, Smart Thinking requires developing Smart Habits to acquire High Quality Knowledge and to apply your knowledge to achieve your goals. A Smart Habit is the repetition of a desired behavior until it becomes an engrained habit. High Quality Knowledge is accurate and tested knowledge without gaps or inaccuracies.