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Ask anyone who’s ever started or owned their own business about what they’ve learned, and every one of them will say the same things:  “If I had it to do over again…” or “If I’d only known…” or “I wish we had paid more attention to…”  Each one will have a different list of lessons they’ve learned, usually the hard way.  However, there will typically be a few key ideas that show up time and time again in these conversations.  In this series, we’re going to talk about 4 of the most common mistakes entrepreneurs make.

Today, we will discuss the first common mistake:  a lack of strategic focus.

Lack of Strategic Focus

Most small businesses (new or not) have limited resources, which requires leadership to focus on core competencies.  What are your core products?  What do you really do well?  What is it that makes you unique?  As a small business owner, you don’t have the resources to try and be everything to everyone.  What are you going to be?  And to whom?

One key to strategic focus is understanding your organization’s Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA).  Your SCA is that unique, sustainable, hard-to-copy characteristic that customers value.  Maybe it’s price, maybe it’s innovation, maybe it’s quality.  Understand who you are and what makes you successful.  Once you understand that, you’ll know what markets to focus on, how to develop your marketing strategy, and how to structure your operations.

What is your SCA?

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