Asking the right question

 The best strategy question is (IMHO) is one that forces you to think about severe business disruption. For example:

If my core product was made free tomorrow, what would I be doing today?

Do you really have the answer to this question? If not, I suggest finding it is the main priority.

As a registered training organisation we can offer our clients ‘free’ retail training for their staff (we attract government subsidies) yet this part of our business is not the biggest revenue earner. Call me obtuse if you must, but I am not going to rely on a business model that is dependent on something as fickle as government hand-outs.

In fact, I am pleasantly surprised by how many clients actually ignore the availability of the funding, favouring instead a discussion about the merits and the relevance of the training. Because of this generous government support, the industry has attracted several opportunists (to put it mildly) and they effectively inundate the market with ‘free training’. But just because it is free, fortunately does not mean it is any good and there is still plenty of scope to engage with serious players in the market to structure something long-lasting and relevant that adds value to the business.

We have found an avenue to compete with all the ‘free training’ that is out there; and yes we do use the funding as much as possible where applicable – it would be stupid not to. But we understand our value proposition and can compete accordingly.

Do you understand yours?

A good way of testing this is to determine if you can you compete with FREE? I can think of a few industries right now that wish they had thought of this sooner.