6 Proven Steps to Becoming the Best in Your Industry

Hey there, fellow small business owner! If you're anything like me, you're not just looking to be good in your industry – you want to be the absolute best, a true standout. I'm talking about being the top dog, the crème de la crème, the go-to "X" that everyone talks about. Today, I'm sharing with you six game-changing steps that will propel your business to greatness and make you a force to be reckoned with in your space. Let's dive in!

Choosing the Right Arena

When aiming to dominate your market, the first strategic move involves selecting the right niche. Rather than pursuing the almost unattainable goal of becoming the largest business or lowest price offer, identify areas where competition is weak or negligible. Focus on areas where customer needs remain underserved or overlooked, giving you the opportunity to deliver unmatched value. Areas, where the bar is low for customer service, innovation, or new approaches, are a goldmine of opportunity.

When Patagonia started in the market, they went after environmentally conscience consumers looking for quality outdoor gear. They weren't going to conquerer the clothing game or even the hiking game... but they knew they could be best when it came to those who wanted a company that shared their values for the outdoors, nature, and the environment.

CaneKast will never have the biggest facility or the lowest price... but we can be the best, small foundry for all US manufacturers to build long-term partnerships with. 

Reverse Engineering Excellence

Imagine your company as the epitome of success – the absolute best version. Now, take that vision and transport it two decades into the future. Working backward from this aspirational destination, you'll be amazed at how achievable your goals become. With a clear direction in mind, you're paving the way for your business to thrive.

Almost anything is achievable with enough time and with constant and consistent direction applied. Dream the company which is the best, and then work backward to plot the intermediate targets that get you there. This will be a guiding light on investments, decisions, and growth opportunities over time.

Embrace the Unconventional

Let's face it: if you want different results, you need to take a different path. Don't simply follow the herd or stick to tried-and-true methods. Embrace risks, experiment with fresh approaches, and challenge the status quo. By applying the same backward-thinking strategy at the micro level, you'll uncover innovative ways of doing things that you never thought possible.

There are so many times we are questioned at CaneKast on why we are doing things a certain way, to constant "That will never work" statements. You know what? It often doesn't work the first time. However, we are dedicated to finding different ways of tracking, different levels of output, and novel approaches to getting specific outcomes. We are headed somewhere different and so need to travel a different way.

Nobody exemplifies this more than Dyson. Sir James Dyson often did things and built things that were different... just to be different. He knew that in order to disrupt the giants like Hoover, his products needed to look and feel like a completely different solution to the cleaning problem. Building a better mousetrap wasn't going to work... but building something that even looked novel, could much more easily be "better" to the consumer. 

Remember: It's not about moving forward along well-trodden paths, but about trailblazing new routes that lead to your ultimate success.

Navigate with Precision

Now that you have your course plotted, it's time to keep a close eye on your progress. Regularly track, measure, and report your performance against your 20-year vision. This real-time feedback loop will help you stay on course and make necessary adjustments whenever you veer off track.

Few have the metric attention to detail that Starbucks has. They look at metrics on what is selling, location metadata, foot traffic in areas of the store, and more. Their location data is so powerful that they are one of the best companies in the world at predicting what areas are going to grow and boom, and which aren't. They measure products, employees, and everything they touch. This helps them stay on course with their mission.

Insider Tip: Consistency is key – check your metrics consistently and make adjustments proactively.

The Power of Fractal Accountability

Accountability is your secret weapon for maintaining momentum. Establish checkpoints at daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual intervals to keep your entire team in the loop about your progress. Sometimes, even the act of reviewing key metrics or updates can be a powerful motivator that propels your team forward.

Amazon is focused on one thing... the customer. This drives daily checking, weekly accountability, quarterly goals, sales reviews, and project memos. Their focus on accountability keeps the company on the long-term path.

Rewarding Success

In your journey to becoming the best, remember that recognition should be based on merit, not just tenure. Reward those who actively contribute to your success and align with your vision. It's not about who's been with you the longest, but who's driving your company toward greatness. Your team's dedication to the company's success should be the true measure of their own success within the company.

So, there you have it, my fellow entrepreneur! These six steps are your roadmap to not just being good, but to achieving greatness in your chosen field. By carefully selecting your arena, reverse-engineering excellence, embracing the unconventional, staying on track, fostering accountability, and recognizing true contributions, you're well on your way to becoming the best "X" out there. 

Remember, my friend, it's not about being good – it's about being the best.

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