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Resource Profiles & Business Silhouettes

It’s not uncommon to hear the commentary that company X should have done Y and company A should have invested in B. However, within each company there is a unique mix of talent, skill, financial capacity and plain old stuff. Every business has it’s own resource profile.

Resource Profiles Determine the Current Capabilities

As an example we’ll look at Designer Firm (Company X). There are three months project work on the books, AUD$37,000 funds in the account, 3 experienced staff (manager, designer, web designer) and a younger trainee. Each person has a dual screen Mac set-up with current design software. The office is in the local central business district.

By looking closely at what Designer Firm (Company X) has at it’s disposal as resources, it becomes possible to reasonably predict what they can and cannot take on board as a business. That makes intuitive sense. For example, they can take on new design work as time / space permits; they can pay money to outsource parts of a project they can’t do for themselves in-house; and, they can launch a relatively efficient marketing campaign on television and print in the short-term.

They cannot purchase a share in a start-up for $400,000 even if they believe it’s going to produce an Apple iPhone killer application. They cannot take on a movie project on the other side of the Continent. And they cannot, for the life of them, fill their project roster with 200 hours per week per person.

Tweaking the Resource Profile over Time

If the resource profile is lacking then it may be time to increase it… or it could be time to decrease the resource profile if elements aren’t being utilised effectively.

Limited resources entirely govern what opportunities can be pursued and what weaknesses can be addressed so it’s a matter of monitoring and tweaking the resource profile over time. A common strategy used in business is to concentrate on core competencies then temporarily increase the resource profile through outsourcing project components.

If the business knows qualified and competent specialists then that’s already a part of their resource profile (because they can draw on those skills). If they don’t know anybody to fit the role then it’s time to consider expanding the current profile by hunting those contacts out.

Because resource profiles determine the current capabilities of a business. You can think of it like a pair of hands… some pairs belong to baseball legends and other pairs struggle with a philips head screwdriver.

Start Looking at Competitors as Business Silhouettes

A curious mind is a good thing to develop when it comes to your competitive business landscape. A strong competitor will be watching and analysing every move and purchase and project taken on by Designer Firm (Company X). Why did they take the project? What finite resources does that project utilise? How does that project affect the firm’s ability to pitch on the next project?

You might be surprised how that little exercise adds a third dimension to the way you see an industry. If you’re smart about this you’ll keep some kind of live document in easy reach that you can add and remove content from about each competitor over time. Because the more you know about your competitors’ resource profiles the better equipped you are to succeed.

It doesn’t hurt to sit down for 30 minutes with a coffee and honestly write your profile down. Just be realistic about it… don’t bullshit a bullshitter.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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