In life, everything is relative. In a competitive environment, you need to be very aware of what your core competence is. This is more easily said than done. Most people – and companies as groups of people – are not good at reflecting on themselves and defining what their strengths really are. In a private circle you can draw on friends to give you feedback on what you do well and not so well. The equivalent in business is to draw on external advisors to benchmark you against others.  Benchmarking can be done quantitatively for example look into your cost structure and compare R&D, manufacturing and sales costs with peer companies, or in a more qualitative manner. You can also undertake customer satisfaction surveys to learn more about yourself and how you are perceived by others.

Your core competence might include any of the following:

  • R&D capability
  • project management skills
  • management of partners
  • low-cost production
  • logistics
  • know-how management
  • purchasing skills
  • M&A capability
  • customer understanding
  • branding
  • visionary or and charismatic management
  • ability to bundle hardware with software
  • and so forth.