A lot of people think that mission statements are, essentially, worthless, and it’s hard to disagree with them when you consider how interchangeable most mission statements can be. That’s why it’s so important for companies and other organizations to recognize exactly why they need to exist. Once a company and its leaders understand why they exist, it’s easy to create a fitting and memorable mission statement. When you think about it, the goal is to find gaps in the marketplace, then fill them effectively.
The same concepts can be applied to you as an individual. Whether you’re looking for a new job, trying to determine how you fit into your current workplace, or you are searching for new ways to inspire your team members and make an impact in your industry, it is crucial for you to recognize gaps. It is equally as important to determine how your specific skills and abilities can help to fill them.
No matter where you find yourself in your industry’s food chain, you always have something that no one else can lay claim to — your unique personality. We live in an age where a number of industries are incredibly fragmented. Pick any industry and perform an Internet search; it’s likely that you’ll find hundreds of companies that offer services and products that are indistinguishable from one another. However, some of these companies are clearly more successful than others, even though there is little on the surface to suggest any overwhelming advantages. The difference between successful companies and similar, but less successful, organizations is often the direction provided by key team members. In other words, many successful companies have been able to endure and separate themselves from the pack because they’ve taken advantage of the unique personalities and ideas that can only be found on their rosters.
Often, it is the intangible qualities that make all the difference in the business world. You may not have the fanciest degree or a contacts list that reaches into the highest echelons of society, but you have unique abilities and insights that can make you better suited than others to fill certain gaps in the marketplace. The key is to recognize your intangible strengths as you locate the gaps that are most in need of filling.
Recognizing Your Intangible Strengths
If you’re having trouble determining the special strengths that can set you apart and help you fill gaps in the marketplace, I encourage you to ask yourself these questions:
- What do I do better than anyone I know? Are you highly skilled at bringing different types of people together? Do you have a great sense of humor? Search yourself for the qualities that no one else can compete with – even if they don’t apply directly to your industry.
- How do I communicate most effectively? Maybe you’re an excellent writer, but you find yourself speaking publicly more than you’d prefer. Perhaps the opposite is true. Are you better at working with people one-on-one or in groups? Find out the ways in which you communicate most effectively, and apply your skills to the process of filling gaps.
- What makes me excited about my job and my industry? When you think about the top companies in any industry, one thing is clear – the organizations that experience the most success are clearly excited about what they do and what they provide. If you really want to fill gaps in the marketplace, you need to zero in on the aspects of your industry that make you most excited. As a result, potential clients and customers will be more likely to buy into your vision, even if your offerings differ very little from those of your competitors.
Mind The Gaps
Once you’ve become tuned into your specific, unique characteristics, you can start applying them to the gaps that you notice in the marketplace. If you have a way with words, you can reach and inspire people more effectively than your competitors, even if you can’t compete with their budgets. If a certain aspect of your industry gets you pumped up, you can use that enthusiasm to separate yourself from organizations that don’t offer the same level of excitement. Once you start looking, the gaps in the marketplace are easy to find. Now all you have to do is determine your special skills so you can start to fill them better than anyone else.
How do you approach gaps in the marketplace to give yourself an edge? Do you have any additional tips or advice? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or dropping us a line.