Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas

January 9, 2013

What Business Are You In?

One of the late Peter Drucker's famous questions is : What business are you in?

Theodore Levitt too asked this question, observing that the rail road businesses in the US in the early 20th century failed to become players in aviation because they myopically stuck to a narrow definition of their business as "rail road business" not as "transportation business."

Here is a collection of such definitions.

What business is Starbucks in? Coffee business serving people or people business serving coffee? Business of making people feel valued at a personal level or business of running stylish coffee shops? The source of these ideas.

What business is Coca-Cola in? Like Pepsi, in "taste" business or in "fun" business?

What business is Revlon in? In perfume business or in business of selling hope, dreams and fantasy? I got this example from E-Myth Revisited.

What business is a tuition center in? In the business of teaching certain concepts and skills to youth, or in the business of inspiring and instilling confidence in them?

How you define your business will determine how you define your value to your customers, how you position your offerings to those of the competition, what acquisitions you go after, how you do your R & D, and so on.

Therefore, take your time until you get a crystal clear and compact answer that excites both yourself and your troops.


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