Only we can … I notice that a number of people play this game in their workshops but here is my version. It can be used in a number of different ways and can also be used solo or in groups.

If you are having issues with a current product or service then you might try to produce statements such as:

  • Only we can deliver product xx within 24 hours
  • Only we can produce xx at a cost of less than £5
  • Only we have the technology ….

This should not be too difficult, especially if you are already having some success but if you cannot find statements of the above type that describe why your products and/or services are unique then you are probably flogging a dead horse and should consider cutting your losses.

It is then time to use this technique in a different way. You might have already created some new ideas which are still in your head or are just scribbles on a piece of paper. Try the same exercise but using knowledge of your capabilities and resources create statements of the form ‘Only we could …’. This might require some knowledge of your competitors as well so some digging will be required. Once again, if your product or service ideas fail this simple test then perhaps they are not worth pursuing.

All is not lost though. One final exercise is ‘If only …. then we could …’ so you might generate statements of the form:

  • If only we had a new machine we could produce xx at a cost of less than £5
  • If only we had a new van then we could deliver within 24 hours

So you can work out your unique advantage assuming that you can meet the conditions of your ‘If only …’ statement. This is a little easier and can usually be carried out with the aid of a calculator. If you are a larger business then you might wish to involve employees from all areas and at all levels in this exercise. Be realistic though, ‘If only we had infinite resources, we could do anything’ is not an option if you are trying to make a decision although it might be good for generating some wacky ideas.

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