I have seen all sorts of businesses lately and no longer as a judging outside but as an inside observer. It's never about a great business idea. The businesses I see flourishing are products of regular ideas but executed in an excellent way. It's like comparing Shoprite to Mama Chukwudi's store. The only difference is the execution of the grocery store business idea both are built on. One is built on excellence and a vast knowledge of how successful grocery stores are run around the world, the other doesn't see beyond her neighbourhood. Same business idea, different worlds.
There are people charging less than half of what I charge for the same Excel training. The same business idea, different income per customer. Before quitting my job I emailed some of the top Microsoft Excel consultants in the world and a lot of them told me how things should be done and gave me the mental picture I work towards. The business deals I get are not because of my theoretical knowledge of Excel but the creative and business enhancing solutions I come up with for my clients. It's not what I do as a Microsoft Excel expert but how I put to use my expertise, how I do what I do.
When I discuss with prospective clients I don't talk about Excel formulas and how they use less than 10% of Excel. What I talk about is the issue they have and how I am going to solve it. In the end they don't care whether I use Excel or not, they just want me to make their problems go away. And as for my Excel training I don't even market that anymore, I get lots of referrals and repeat business than I can handle. Microsoft Excel is what I do but I don't do it like everyone else does it. Training is the low-level part of my services, I major more in helping businesses realize their dreams. If you hear me discuss with the companies I intend (or already consult for) the word Excel is not so often used. I see Excel as a tool and not the end in itself. I use Excel for what it can do and, if need be, I use other tools too (like Access, MySQL and R). But I almost always move the last stage analysis or work perfection to Excel.
If you think about the big multinational businesses everyone wants to work for, the business idea they are built on is very common and not rocket science. What separates them from the pack is how they implemented it. They provide the same service hundred others also provides, just that they provide it in a way no one else does. Take Apple for instance, they are not the only phone maker but their phones are in a class of its own. Their phones have no lookalike and no competing company makes close to the revenue they rake in from iPhone.
It's never about what you do, as far as business success is concerned, but how you do what you do.