February 8, 2011 / 2:14 PM / 9 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: Narrow your business' focus

Workers are blurred by the movement of a camera zoom lens as they pick Ranunculus flowers in Carlsbad, California April 25, 2005. REUTERS/Mike Blake

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - A company can’t be all things to all people, so it needs to make decisions about how to provide differentiated value for a specific set of customers, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (http://www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“What drives some companies to succeed while others languish? Why does Kmart struggle while Wal-Mart and Target thrive? What the former lacks — that the latter have nailed — is a coherent and distinctive ‘way to play.’

Wal-Mart focuses on ‘always low prices’ and creating a welcoming atmosphere. Target caters to a similarly cost-conscious customer set but focuses more on image and design.

You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to make decisions about how you will provide differentiated value for a specific set of customers. This requires deciding what you won’t provide and who you can’t serve as well.

The focus that comes from these tough decisions better positions you to succeed.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Why Can’t Kmart Be Successful While Target and Wal-Mart Thrive?” by Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi.

For the full post, see: here

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