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When a brilliant product doesn’t drive brilliant growth

This week I met a business owner who arguably has one of the best food ordering, payment, and delivery platforms I’m yet to come across. It is a marvelous piece of engineering and centers its value on empowering the restauranter to interpret customer behavior into innovations on service, menus, value, and therefore business growth. Brilliant…. but nobody knows about it.

With a bunch of clients onboard, it makes good money for the founders. This compounds the problem.

If you have a product or service that is well-designed, reliable and offers great value to your customers, how much market share should you own 10 years, 20 years, or 30 years into the game?

Surely, if your offering is that good, you should be dominating segments in your industry. Industries are not small. There are macro-economic reports on the value of industries across all countries freely available on the internet. Find one relevant to you and calculate your market share. If, after 20 years in the game, you believe that you have the best product out there, surely you should have…10% or even 20% of the industry market value?

If you do, well done. If you don’t, what then is the missing ingredient?

Listen to this week’s podcast from The Money Show where Pavlo Phitidis compares a business to a winning F1 team to explain the missing link!

To win the F1 championship, you need three elements.

  1. A winning driver – a racing driver is quintessentially competitive and invested deeply into improving their skills, capabilities, and performance
  2. An efficiently designed car – at high speed, every element of drag and resistance created by the airflow over the body of the car needs to be designed to work for you or eliminated
  3. A reliable, high-performance engine and chassis – to run at a high pace for 70 or more laps, the engine must be responsive and controllable

It’s a great analogy for high-performing businesses.

Every successful business has three primary elements of excellence, interlinked and dependent on each other.

  • The first is the business owner’s mindset. If it’s not a growth mindset, you may well be happy with the status quo. That is not a winning mindset. If your business is doing well and you are making good money in the status quo, you could be doing much better. Doing much better means growing more . Increasing growth by taking more market share pits you against competitors. That fight to grow ignites your potential and competence. A growth mindset is more than just wanting business growth. It means that you will stretch the bounds of your knowledge and capability to fight harder, be smarter, and win. It grows you and your competence as much as success grows your business.
  • The next is the product or service that makes up your offering to the market. It needs to be well-built, offer reliability and quality, and value. It needs to solve problems for the customers who buy it for nobody spends money on anything that does not solve a problem.
  • Finally, is the wrapping. This is made up of the commercial “gears” that interlink to drive and accelerate the offering to market. Made up of marketing, sales, fulfillment, administration, and the other commercial functions that every business needs to exit, live, breathe, and win. The reality for most business owners who create, make and build things (and that’s almost all of us), is that this wrapping is the most frustrating piece to put in place. It really is far more interesting adding a new feature to the product than having to organize your team and design, build and implement the commercial system set.

If you have the best product in the world, and if you aren’t dominating segments of the market in your industry, then it’s the commercial system set or gears that aren’t in play and optimized. If you have them in play and growth generates chaos, then they aren’t optimized and interlinked effectively. No tinkering with the features of your service or product design improvements will fix that and without it, your brilliant product will remain the world’s best-kept secret.

And then time runs out.


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