I heard the good news yesterday that a friend and her husband’s company is in the midst of a $600 million buyout. Over the years I’ve seen how they have navigated through major challenges in what their products are, how they capture consumer interest, their market share, and their distribution channels, and I’m inspired (and at the same time amazed and a little awed by) their ability to convert knowledge and skill into products and customers.
Their business process has brought them into a system that manufactures and distributes a highly engaging consumer product — and they’ve managed to create a mechanism that moves the idea through the different production stages into a final boxed set that goes on the store shelf, to be bought by the end user.
How can we as women in business do the same for our companies? What systems do we have in place to add tremendous value for our customers? What is our process to convert our specific, niche, unique knowledge into a product, or a patentable process, or a service model, or some other asset?
As women in business, we all have the option to make our business a million-dollar business. How do we do it? By thinking big, of course, but also by doing one of two things: creating an item that you sell a lot of at a small price, or creating an item that you sell a little of at a large price. In my friend’s case, this is a small electronic item that retails for under $200 and is highly desirable to their user base.
What is your product or service?
What is your system?
How do we create a system that runs, clock-like, through a set checklist of items to deliver a final product or service?
How do we determine and evaluate the metrics necessary to understand our business? What is the unit of measurement we utilize?
What is our definition of success?
What are the key elements that need to be in place for us to succeed?
Who are our people? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
If we don’t have related knowledge on-hand, to whom do we turn to get that expertise or big-picture thinking?
What is the plan from now moving forward? How do we take our model to scale?
When we go into business, we do so for a reason or series of reasons: for me it was freedom, capability, and the ability to fully utilize my skillset. Now in my 5th year of business, I am exploring many of these questions myself and I invite your ideas on how to move your business to the “next level”.