Three Questions That Help You Make More Profit With Your High-Tech Talents
High-tech companies often exhibit patterns that prevent them from as successful as they could be. They are highly talented and really know their technology. What is often lacking is the reward, the level of profitable sales that you, your team and your investors so deserve.
Here are three questions we encourage you to ask yourself and answer honestly. Based on our experience as an authority in company turnaround of talented companies we know these questions – and their honest answers – will bring you to the rewards you so deserve!
Give yourself a rating of 1 to 10 (10 is top-notch) for each of these questions:
Question 1: How clear are you on your technology’s competitive advantage and unique selling proposition?
The top-notch rating means that you have taken the time to research the potential markets in detail and have established your technology’s strengths and weaknesses. Also, consider what else is under development – you can’t know about it all but you owe it to yourself to find out as much as you reasonably can. Consider both opportunities and threats. This SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is so important because you don’t want to waste time and money to develop something that has no chance in the market. An executive coach who is savvy in both technology and business development can help you take the pain out of this critical step in securing your success.
Question 2: How do you rate your strategic focus?
Let’s assume you are fortunate in that your technology can be applied in many different markets, addressing different needs and customer pain points. Because your resources are limited you need to choose which one, two or perhaps three you will pursue first. All of a sudden the fortune feels more like a curse – it is so hard to decide. And just as you thought you made a decision someone calls you – excitedly, of course – and says “Could you do this?” And often, whatever that person asked about is not in the area of your focus.
A strong focus, based on your understanding of the competitive advantages, is the key to being successful – rather than feeling like a ping-pong ball bouncing between different application areas.
Question 3: How strongly do you believe that your technology will give investors a great Return-On-Investment (ROI)?
A level 10 rating means you have no doubts. Often, companies need further investment to develop their technology further. Generally, the more risk the potential investors perceive the more equity they will demand. One avenue to increasing your own confidence and lowering risk is to create some commercial revenues with what you have in hand now.
For example, you are working on a widget which you envision will meet high-performance specifications X. But right now, the manufacturing process is not quite stable yet. While you are addressing that issue you might be able to “bin” your widgets: The high-performance ones are great for high-performance applications. The lower-performing ones might still be useful for another application – rather than being scraped. It will also raise your confidence that investors will benefit. When you exude confidence you will be more successful in attracting the capital you need. Also, ask yourself how much capital you truly need – and this question goes right back to strategic focus and competitive advantages.
Even (or especially) successful CEO’s often do not get fresh perspectives from a competent, yet unbiased source. You are so close to your own business, and besides, even the best leaders have blind spots. Think of an 18-wheeler truck. You can place 20 children on bicycles into the driver’s blind spots – no matter how good of a driver you are. A Fresh Eyes Assessment™ of all aspects that matter to your business easily overcomes this issue. In your business, you need a person who understands technology AND business to do this. This is where an interim CEO (Visiting CEO™) comes in.
Want a complimentary 30-minute phone Fresh Eyes Assessment™? No problem.The first ten CEOs of companies with 10+ employees or start-ups with funding of at least $100k who call us will be gifted a complimentary initial Fresh Eyes Assessment™.
We love your thoughts, feedback, and questions! Please contact us.