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Spime Your Core Business

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Concentrate on your core business! Specialize on your niche and be the world leader in it! Decide what not to do! Sell off anything else! Ditch other than most profitable customers! Conglomerates are dead!

These were the echoing calls of management consultants starting from the late 1990s, and the parrot mantra is still alive. Unfortunately, many sustainable businesses, sometimes with 100+ year sustainable history, heeded their advice with a vengeance and have now either disappeared or been acquired in a firesale, destroying a massive amount of entrepreneurial power.

The core business dogma is catchy and easy, but it has one major flaw: The world changes around you, often very quickly due to technological innovation or due to Covid-19 -like global shocks. Therefore, your core business is a continuously moving target.

Many of my entrepreneur colleagues are currently worried about the basic (or core) business, be that measured in monthly sales or transactions per second. Even so much so that they don’t see their capabilities – and customer potential – clearly.

My military background makes me think that now it’s the time for real and iterative situational awareness. Look at all of your capabilities and resources, especially your customer relationships and know-how of your people. What can be accomplished with that mix? Can you convert some of your one-off customers into monthly subscribers? If you sell cheese, how about Cheese-as-a-Service?

Most importantly, refresh your thinking about your core business. Always maintain a healthy dose of opportunism, and avoid unwittingly sharing your fate with your suppliers, partners or resellers, however important they are. Your situational awareness and capabilities now matter the most.

//Pasi

 

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