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Having a clear sense of business boundaries and of the definition of your core is a critical starting point for growth strategy. Identifying the core of your business is the first step in determining how to grow. In order to do that, you must identify your key assets:
  • Who are your most potentially profitable, franchise customers?
  • Which are your most differentiated and strategic capabilities?
  • What are your most critical product offerings?
  • Which are your most important channels?
  • Are there any other critical strategic assets that contribute to the assets above, such as patents, brand name, or position at a control point in a network?
Once you have successfully identified your core business, you should examine the three elements of a possible growth strategy.

1. Strengthen & defend the core

One of the three options to consider is strengthening and defending the core. There are three essential steps involved in this strategy:
  • Define the business boundaries and your own core business
  • Identify and verify the sources of differentiation that will continue to create market power and influence over your customers, competitors, and industry profit pool
  • Assess whether the core is operating at or near full economic potential
2. Grow through adjacencies

The second element of a possible growth strategy is adjacency expansion from the core. Adjacency expansion is a company's continual moves into related segments or businesses that utilize and, usually, reinforce the strength of the profitable core. Critical to improving the odds of profitable, sustainable growth are:
  • Identifying adjacent business opportunities and recognizing the most common patterns
  • Assessing and choosing the right adjacencies
  • Avoiding some common pitfalls of adjacency expansion
3. Redefining your core business

The third element of a growth strategy is redefining the core.
  • How do you know when it may be time to redefine your core business?
  • What are the best organizational methods for tackling this difficult task?
  • What are the lessons learned from past successes and failures at redefining a core business?
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