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Books by Thomas Metz:
Perfect Your Exit Strategy
Selling the Intangible Company

Fire Up Your Opportunity Strategy

Opportunity strategy is a key driver of growth. The first step is to consider how you define your company and how you deliver value. Delivering value to customers is the reason that every business exists. Company definition affects the way that you think about areas of opportunity.

To fire up your opportunity strategy, we ask three questions:
  • How can you deliver more value?
  • How can you differentiate?
  • Is there opportunity at the edges?

How Can You Deliver More Value?

As the American economy becomes increasingly sophisticated, companies will sell more services and fewer standalone products. Services are more important than products in a sophisticated economy. The consequence is that growth opportunities will be focused on new services that deliver more value to the customer.

The best opportunity strategy answers the question — How can we identify and obtain the skills to deliver more value? An effective strategy does not ask — How can we sell more widgets?

This point is elegantly made by Jeff Bezos of Amazon:

We start with the customer and we work backward… Rather than ask what are we good at and what else can we do with that skill, you ask who are our customers? What do they need? And then you say we’re going to give that to them regardless of whether we currently have the skills to do so, and we will learn those skills no matter how long it takes.

This is the quintessence of an opportunity strategy. Determine who you want your customers to be and then develop or acquire the skills to serve their needs.

Differentiation is the Key to Competitive Advantage

The leaders in most industries are the companies that are the most highly differentiated. They maintain this differentiation by constantly adapting to changes in the marketplace. The successful company relentlessly builds on its differentiation. Successful differentiation is the only way to generate sustained growth over the long run.

The best opportunity strategy focuses on finding ways to differentiate your company. You differentiate by acquiring new skills and services that set you apart from your competitors.

Opportunity at the Edges

Meaningful change always occurs at the edges. Every market touches on a number of tangential markets. This is where new growth and new ideas emerge.

There are always adjacent markets. Thus, there are always opportunities.

Most people do not look at the edges; they look at the middle. There is no opportunity in the middle; the middle has already been discovered. The edge is where opportunity resides.

Do not get locked into existing industry structures. Market boundaries are not a given; they can be reshaped. Expand your horizons. Create a new market sector at the edge.

Many small firms are solving new problems that the big companies are not addressing. These are excellent growth opportunities. Push the boundaries—seek opportunity at the edges.

T.V. Metz & Co., LLC helps companies devise and execute opportunity strategies. We reframe your company definition and how you deliver value to your customers. We identify opportunities to differentiate your firm and we explore opportunity at the edges.


Copyright 2019 T.V. Metz & Co., LLC  All rights reserved.