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August 6, 2009

Manufacturing in the United States is down and won’t be coming back at pre-2000 levels...EVER!!  There are way too many lower cost options in other places.

So is all lost?  I say no...

There are several solutions but two that jump right out are specialization and differentiation.  By doing something that your competitors are unable or unwilling to do, you can set yourself and/or your company apart from all others.  Create a niche...be a big a big fish in a very small pond...make a name for yourself...you’ve heard all the clichés.

That also means giving up on things that you don’t do very well.  When Jack Welch was heading GE, he decided that if GE couldn’t be in the top 3 of any particular market, then they should abandon that market altogether.  What he recognized was that specialization breeds expertise and customers are willing to pay for this.  If you can’t be the expert, then get out and go do something else...

This principle works particularly well in the services industry...just take a look specialized patent attorneys or neural surgeons... whose expertise pays them
7-figure incomes each year.  (Here’s food for thought:  EVERY industry is a service industry in one way or another).

Now I really can’t begin to tell you what your expertise should be...that’s the hard part... all I know is that you should have one (or at least be thinking about getting one).   If you think hard enough...you’ll come up with several things that you do well (and maybe some things that you do VERY well)...and then just build from there...if you’re really good...customers will find you...you won’t need to go out and find customers...

Yes manufacturing is down... but with those with special skills and knowledge will survive, grow and thrive while others who don’t will wither. 

Thank you so much very much for all your support of OptiFuse where we want to be your power protection experts.

Jim Kalb


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