- Figure out what you do best.
- Ignore everything else.
- Tell everybody.
- An aircraft and missile parts-maker was losing $2 million a year on $6 million in sales. With some outside help, its leaders found out why: The parts the company shipped ranged from $17 hinges to $48,000 housings.
After the company tossed out its older, simpler work and concentrated on high-tech, high-margin stuff, it turned profitable again within three months.
- Xerox made copiers. It ran into shoals at about the time it started calling itself “The document company.” Nobody knew what that meant.
- Home Depot sells home improvement. A master of focus, it refused to confuse customers and carry pantyhose, even when a test showed that it could generate $30 million in sales by putting one kiosk in each store.
—Adapted from Corporate Canaries: Avoid Business Disasters with a Coalminer’s Secrets, Gary Sutton, Nelson Business.