Updated: Dec 1, 2020
In today's entry, I discuss "The Competition" and "Poor Management".
In the simplest terms, your competition is just one facet of market intelligence, and your company needs to know what is happening in your industry. There are many ways to gather and evaluate market intelligence.
Among the most common is the SWOT analysis, which asks you to evaluate your companies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
In a SWOT analysis, you might ask the following questions:
- What are our competitors doing?
- What are the pricing trends from our supply chain?
- What are industry forecasts and experts saying about our industry?
You might also solicit feedback from customers and suppliers:
- How can we improve our inventory turns?
- How can we move more of Product XYZ?
- Why are we losing bids on Product ABC?
Your company leadership should be aware of how customer, competitor, and supplier behaviors and tastes are evolving so that you can continue to operate from an advantageous position and adapt to market changes swiftly.
Poor managers aren't gathering or evaluating market intelligence, that's for certain.
As a manager, consider the saying, "What got us here, won’t get us there."
Poor management contributes to every problem on our list!
- Scaling up without a quality organizational chart? That'll be difficult.
- Are you slipping into old roles, or struggling to delegate? That'll hold you back.
- Is there a lack of vision around the business? That's on management!
Great companies are made by people who also become great managers and leaders. They evolve with their company. The skills needed to overcome the obstacles in your way change. You must develop them, or hire them. Growing teams demand different managerial skills. You must develop them, or hire them.
Your business will only grow to the level that YOU can successfully manage it, or build a team to manage it for you. But it all comes down to great leadership, which can be learned through mentoring, coaching, or hiring a strong team of advisors and managers (all of which should be part of your... organizational chart!).
If you missed any of the past entries in this series, they are available here:
In Part 1, Matt discussed Total Cost of Ownership and provided tips for managing cash flow, as well as basic strategies for marketing and sales
In Part 2, Matt discussed how taking time to regularly set and rank your priorities is key to better planning and time management skill development.
In Part 3, Matt offered advice on improving hiring and recruitment, and on creating a high-quality organizational chart and architecture.
In Part 4, Matt gave tips on effectively scaling your business, and developing a growth mindset.
About the Author:
Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and other disciplines. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.
Ascent Consultants provides business and project management consulting services, and executive and leadership development coaching. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we lead companies and individuals to extraordinary outcomes.