I recently told my board we needed to make a strategic change of direction, which caused a lot of blank and uncomfortable looks.
Our mistake, which was entirely my fault, was listening to the siren of the wrong buyer. All too often, buyers, especially large companies, are so enticing that, like a job that pays a lot but is a wrong mix of culture and objectives, we think we can make it work.
This happened to me and my company over the past year. My company sells a product that large companies could use, and I was lured to those companies because of their size, reputation and potential revenue opportunities. The companies encouraged my interest through their spoken and written interest. My team and I spent hundreds of hours pursuing them, only to find out that our product was a mismatch for what they were trying to accomplish.
Most of us have limited time and resources, so we have to make the most of our assets. You can only do that by being honest with yourself. In business, that requires a strong understanding and acceptance of the following:
Value proposition: Many companies really don't understand their value proposition or overestimate their value. They do this because they claim they don't want to limit themselves. Unfortunately, what they are doing is confusing the marketplace.
Target market: We often think our service will fit anyone who is in the market for what we offer. If you are a community bank, you know that you can't handle the financial needs of a multibillion-dollar international company. Sure, you may provide better service and offer all the technological bells and whistles, but in reality, you don't have the cash or the acceptable rate for an international company.