“Every GE business unit should be number one or number two in its
market, or else. Or else what? “Fix it, sell it or close it”
– Jack Welch
When I was in college, I was a huge fan (still am) of Jack Welch. While some other students were reading Sports Illustrated and People magazine, I was reading Tom Peters and other business authors that chronicled the trials of the business leaders they admired. Yeah, I was a bit of a geek…
Fast forward to today, and Welch’s 1980 mandate, done in an inflationary period during a recession like this one, is as relevant now as it was then. As entrepreneurs, our job is to get ourselves into the most relevant market positioning so that we can be one of the top few players in the market we serve. We need to be best in class, but only best in the class that we serve. We’re not trying to ‘boil the ocean’ here. (for your sake, I hope that your entrepreneurial juices are focused on creating blue oceans, if you were thinking of boiling any of the oceans.
Today we talk about marketing to those top spots and getting in front of the customer segments that matter most. This is one of the most important actions you can take. By defining the universe that you serve and seeking to be the best servant in the segment, you’ve set your course for long-term success and some short-term wins. (or, at least you’ll get some necessary course correction!)
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