Sharon: Hello, this is Sharon, and I’m here today with Steven Kohnke from Denver Business Coach. Good morning, Steven.
Steven: Good Morning Sharon, how are you doing?
Sharon: I’m good. As always, looking forward to our conversation because I always learn something when we have the chat. So what’s our topic today?
Steven: Yeah, so as a business owner, it’s good to think of your business as not just something that happens, but a bunch of different technical areas that need to work together and need to have a focus on individuals in order for the business to run effectively. What we’ve done is breaking these down into big components, seven pillars being foundations, leadership, sales and marketing, operations, financials, and H.R. And we’ve put together this series of tips and insights that you can apply to your business today and help build that better business. Today, we’re focusing on the operations pillar and specifically the products and service creation of the business.
Sharon: Ok, well, in thinking about that setup you just gave, a business has a product or a service and that’s the business. So, what are you talking about here to have it be included under this Operation Pillar?
Steven: Yeah. So here we’re talking specifically about a set continuous process improvement system, or simply continuous service development. This means we’re focusing on expanding the moat or really being able to differentiate what we have and continuously separate from the rest of the competition. So, it’s not necessarily creating new businesses. It’s improving upon the product or service that you have, adding something to it, taking something away and making sure that it is you’re really competing on the value of what you can deliver to expand that moat and making sure that that is just worked into the process of the business. So you’re not left in the dust and people can pass you up. You’re the one setting the bar and not chasing the bar.
Sharon: Ok, I see, and I think you started answering this, but I’m going to ask for a little bit more explanation of why is it so important to have a process like this, established in your business?
Steven: Yeah, so the moats is what I mentioned is comes from Warren Buffett. He talks about how he only invests in businesses that have a deep and wide moat, meaning those businesses are so different from the competition that it’s very difficult to get to that business. You think of a castle that’s surrounded by a wide moat all the competitors are trying to get into it. Can’t do it because the moat is so deep and wide. This is what continuous service development comes from. They’re just so different from everyone else that they’re really on a different playing field. So, by working in that process for a product or service creation, just improvement, you’re expanding that moat. You’re making it more difficult for people to say I’m in competition with you. And that’s kind of the goal of what we’re talking about and being able to just have a business that is so far beyond anyone else that you can set the price up because you’re competing on something, on something that’s just so different than everyone else. You’re able to dictate that price and really say this business is the one you need to go for because there are no other businesses like this, that solve your problem this way. So the why behind it is you just have a more valuable business and it becomes easier to run.
Sharon: Makes sense. So what would you suggest for a business owner to do in order to continue to expand and to create that that moat?
Steven: Yeah, probably the best, easiest way to look at this is to sit down with your team every six months or so. And along with that, ask your current customers, ask your current clients for a little bit of feedback, what they like, what they don’t like, and then use that information with your own team and come together every couple of months, six months is a good number and say, how can we improve on what we already have by adding, taking away or just making it more efficient or effective or doing something like that, where you’re just continuously making those incremental continuous service development changes that will ultimately leave your competition in the dust. Because, if they’re not working in that same manner to really put purpose behind expanding the moat, you’re just going to be so far ahead by making small, incremental changes that aren’t really going to make big splashes. It’s really going to be an easy way to just continuously make sure that your different… differentiating from the competition. So just getting a quick meeting and doing feedback are the two ways to really get started on that. And then you can improve upon that piece as you go.
Sharon: Great, and I really appreciate your emphasis on the small incremental changes, because that feels like a lot more doable, right. And less overwhelming because at the same time, we’re running our businesses and that there’s a lot going on there, so.
Sharon: Well, the super helpful conversation today. Anything you want to say as we wrap up?
Steven: Yeah. You know, if you’re looking at figuring out how to better differentiate and work this into the DNA of your business and improve upon what you have or add or subtract, we’re happy to have a conversation with you. The best way to do it is to go to denverbusinesscoach.com, reach out to us there, and we’d be happy to have that conversation.
Sharon: All right, great. Thanks for your time today, Steven.