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Boost Your Business Model by Borrowing New Expertise You Have Not Thought of Using Before

May 24, 2008
Could you personally rewire and replumb your business? Probably not. You would get expert help. The same principle applies here, except that the expert help is often in places you don't think about.

Suppliers and partners, as well as potential suppliers and partners, can find many more ways to add benefits at the current price that you will never notice, consider, or realize. Since few companies look at how customers' customers are affected, you will only be able to tap into this expertise if you demand attention.

Direct observation followed by discussions is a great way to start. You will find this collaboration more beneficial if you have already established credibility with the customers by focusing on what your own people could identify.

Having come up with valuable ideas will also help make it attractive for potential suppliers and partners to get involved with you. You have to make it easy, relevant, and interesting before you will engage the top minds.

When you think you've exposed everyone you can to the problem, think again. Chances are that fields that you consider disconnected from the problem can make valuable contributions.

In most industries, "industry experience" is the test of who to get involved. Now you want to do the opposite. Get people involved who have great expertise in other disciplines that you are not now using, and who have no experience in your industry.

If your head of research and development is a knowledgeable scientist, she or he should be able to lead this part of the effort. Be sure that your budgeting process allows the time and money to pursue these kinds of exploratory efforts.

Most research and development groups will tell you that they get little insight into the problems and inconveniences that customers and customers' customers are experiencing. Be sure to include experts in how to transfer knowledge in this examination if you don't have that skill internally. Otherwise, the boundaries between what you and your suppliers and partners see and what the customers are aware of may be set in the wrong ways.

Central Parking provides a good example of how this can work. When the company first started, it realized that developers didn't see the potential for better parking to help them sell buildings, rent space, and get higher prices for both. Central Parking developed this kind of expertise, and then educated major developers about how to work with Central Parking to get these benefits.

In the process, parking went from being a minor revenue source for developers to a key benefit enabling them to be much more profitable. Central Parking was able to grow rapidly in the process while running into limited competition.

Where can you access new expertise that can zoom the amount of value you add?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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