There have been many articles and books written on how to create a company mission, but with the introduction of e-commerce, new questions that once were not important have had to be considered. It is obvious, more than ever, that individuals and companies must know exactly what they are best at, or their highest and best use. Once an individual or company understands their truly unique talents and abilities, they can begin to encourage and grow those talents, through more specific education and experience. Once the core competencies are recognized and defined, focus and direction to develop those competencies can occur.
Money is not wasted trying to grow something that at best will be mediocre in the competitive arena. Today, because competition is a global concern, there is no need to encourage a business, a department, or an individual to be or do something that cannot be maintained in excellence. With the added complexities and extreme competition in today’s business environment, a company must do what it does better than anyone else. To do otherwise is a prelude to failure.
Identifying the part your business plays
As a business answers, “What do we do better than anyone else?” the list becomes shorter and shorter. The next question then becomes “What are we doing now that we could get someone else to do better?” More often than not, it is a perceived direct competitor that has an ability that could be very beneficial if resources were combined. Competitors, when partnered, typically can become complimentary, each company focusing on what they do best and sharing in the support teams of employees.
This thinking, although seeming common sense, requires individuals, as well as companies, to look at what drives them. If individuals are untrusting and in control of a company, they will be unable to develop a company based on respectful relationships and open communication. These attributes are imperative when creating strategic alliance partnerships.
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
Just as a person takes tests to help identify their talents and personality type, and then embarks on a lifelong journey of self-improvement, businesses must conduct a checkup a minimum of at least once a year, especially now with market changes occurring so rapidly. There are experts in the field of organization identity and branding that all businesses should involve from time to time, at least to gain a different perspective from outside of the organization.
Key decision-makers should meet to look at reorganizing or restructuring in order to meet the needs and changes of the current market. The need to constantly look at what you do, how you do it, and on what are you spending money and resources cannot be overemphasized. In the days of large corporate structures and jobs that lasted 20 or 30 years, there may have been an atmosphere that condoned complacency and waste. In today’s market, however, “If you snooze, you lose.” If one is not prepared to embrace change and constantly seek to become better, one will almost immediately begin to lose market share and marketability.
Create Compelling Reasons for Others to Seek Your Company as a Strategic Partner
Just as American Express continued to evolve its reputation of always maintaining outstanding customer service, so did those companies wanting to partner with them. While College Capital knew that it had the best databases and information regarding college preparatory, no one else did. As they were reviewing the companies that might be willing to partner with them, American Express seemed to be a possible match.
Identifying with a company that demanded outstanding customer service could have its challenges but would give an immense amount of credibility for a young company. College Capital had developed information that could be used as an added benefit to the customers American Express already serviced. The student loan division of American Express, at that time, was a natural fit.
In order to create partnerships, individuals or corporations must obviously be desirable partners and others need to be able to recognize it. Informing a relationship with a well-known partner, a smaller company will have to establish evidence that they can bring a noticeable benefit to them. When a corporation is great at producing a certain product but is known for taking ruthless or less than ethical business advantage over other businesses, partnerships will be nearly impossible to maintain even if an initial agreement is reached.