Next Level Strategy

Next Level Strategy · 01. June 2017
Too many business executives believe, wrongly, that differentiation requires blazing new paths or innovating something from nothing. Instead, paying attention to trends can help you differentiate and identify needs and opportunities like nothing else can. Being a “trend getter” is a best-kept secret among high-growth companies, with executives envisioning new ways to approach and leverage what already exists. Here are some ways to make "trend getting" an ongoing initiative in your company....

Next Level Strategy · 01. January 2017
The Harvard Business School teaches that, “Like death and taxes, commoditization of your products is a given.” However, this doesn’t mean you must accept eventual commoditization as a death sentence to your competitive advantage. On the contrary, by paying attention, you can proactively shift for strategic advantage, not just competitive advantage. There are several reasons a commodity mindset occurs, and in every instance, these reasons should be viewed as warning signs that it’s time...

Next Level Strategy · 01. March 2016
Too many businesses, in an effort to compete, miss the mark in what it takes to truly differentiate themselves. If you are using your competition as a template for what you think you should be doing, then you will always be following, and will more likely get left in the dust of "not knowing what you didn't know."Companies that truly excel against competition are willing to put their offerings and how they approach doing business on the line. These businesses are willing to be disruptive, and...

Next Level Strategy · 01. November 2015
Part I of II - As we near the end of another year, midway through fourth quarter in a calendar fiscal year, how are you feeling about your business as a whole? How are you feeling about your business strategy and where it is leading your company? Is it not reaping the results you had hoped? Do you even have a strategy in place or are you taking it day by day hoping what you throw out there works? If you think a strategy is merely trying various tactical things, it is time to graduate your...

Next Level Strategy · 01. April 2015
Walking into a Main Street gallery gift shop, I was greeted by its associate who asked, "How may I help you?" My answer, the same answer most likely you have given on countless occasions, "No thank you. I'm just looking." Instead of the usual, "Okay, just let me know if you have any questions," this associate literally seemed to get excited!He leaped out from behind the counter and said, "I have just the thing for you!" He returned with a card that offered a "Just Looking" discount on my...

Next Level Strategy · 01. April 2013
As mentioned in last month’s column, change is the new norm in today’s economy. Change viewed from an opportunities and investigative perspective can help you anticipate and effectively respond to inevitable changes versus being forced to react to them. Too often, business owners are surprised by shifts or unexpected outcomes because they were operating at a surface level of knowing what was really happening in their business. Here are five areas you should keep a pulse on so you are...

Next Level Strategy · 01. December 2012
Impatience has served entrepreneurs well, resulting in innovations and solutions to help us do almost anything faster. As a result of our impatience, we entrepreneurs expect everything to happen fast and according to our preconceived notions of when a desired result should be achieved. With our expectations high, we can reach lows easily when a particular result has not been realized as we had hoped. Too often, business owners get into a mindset of building and then not continuing to build with...

Next Level Strategy · 01. June 2012
Businesses that create value for customers and for potential investors understand the importance of defining and continually refining their approach to business for documented and replicable success. Are you giving enough thought and attention to how you approach running your business as a competitive advantage? Here are steps to take to better define your approach at critical success levels within your company for competitive advantage: 1. Business Approach: One of the most telling questions I...

Next Level Strategy · 01. May 2012
Confirming your company’s distinctions is critical to your business growth and increased value in the marketplace. Too many companies fall short in this area, even though on the surface level, they may believe they have distinguished themselves. The key is to set your company apart from competitors in a compelling, customer-centric way. Here are steps to take to create depth of distinction in your company: 1. Ask & Listen: Ask and listen to what people are saying and thinking. Better yet,...