The Law of Fractional Advantage

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I was watching a basketball game this past week and the winning team missed almost two out of every three shots they took. How can you win a game shooting only 35.9%? The opposing team only shot 28.9%!

Later, I decided to look into what was going on in the world of golf. You don’t have to be a big golf fan to know about Tiger Woods. He is the top rated golfer in the world. His scoring average is 67.91. In other words his average score is less then 68 shots a round of golf.

What I saw next really amazed me. The second rated golfer on the top scorer list is Mike Weir. He had a scoring average of 68.56. As good as Tiger is, and as dominant as he has been, the only difference between he and the number two player on the scoring list is 65 hundredths of a point.

Can such a small advantage make such a large difference in results? The answer is yes. This phenomenon is called “The Law of Fractional Advantage.”

Simply put “The Law of Fractional Advantage” states that all you need to do to win at anything is to be slightly better than your competition.

Think about it. In baseball are you rewarded more if you win 15-0 rather then 1-0? In the one hundred meter race, the winner is usually only a few hundredths of a second ahead of second place. It would not matter if you won by three minutes. A win is a win.

In business it is very much the same. You need to out perform your competition, but many times we want to achieve something so big or so grand that we choke on it. We try to achieve greatness all at once rather than over time.

The “Law of Fractional Advantage” goes on to mandate that you take the long view to business. It is not about a home run today. The only get-rich-quick techniques I know about are to win the lottery or rob a bank, and the latter has some grave consequences.

If you can put yourself in one additional networking opportunity a week, that would translate into fifty opportunities a year. If at each meeting you met two new people, then you would grow your prospect list by one hundred people a year. Get the picture? Time works to your advantage when you are looking for small gains and consistent performance.

There are several areas in your business that you can look to improve your performance and achieve fractional advantages. The greater the number of these disciplines of business in which you can generate fractional advantages, the greater growth you will achieve.

Marketing:

How do you generate leads?
What is the quality of your leads?
Is your company getting the market exposure you need?
Do you have a memorable marketing message that appears in everything you do?

Sales:

Do you use a proven sales system?
Do you track your closing ratio and other important numbers?
Are you getting the referral business that you should?
Have you completed a self assessment of your sales strengths and weaknesses?
Do you get additional sales training on an annual basis?

Customer Service:

How do your customers view your customer service?
Are your systems designed to solve problems or keep them from occurring in the first place?
How long does it take someone to reach a live person when they call your company?
Do you return all of your phone calls in under two hours?

Products/Services:

Are your products/services unique from your competitors?
How do you package your products/services?
Do you use unique warranties and services to differentiate yourself?
Does the way your customers interact with your company enhance the value you deliver?

Management:

Do you have a strategic plan?
Does everyone in your organization know what the company goals are?
If you are a small company do you have a board of directors?
Are you a part of a Mastermind Group?
Is your business designed to operate in your absence?

Evaluate each of these areas. Brainstorm ways that you can create an improvement. Remember, you are looking to create a fractional advantage. If you can do so in each of these areas the total advantage and bottom line growth will be significant.

Then, start implementing the ideas you just created. Do so one at a time. You will see small improvements at first, then greater ones.

Sometimes a small improvement will become a larger one when a secondary enhancement is also made. Some of the changes will be synergistic. The long view of business will help you remain patient as you let time magnify your improvements.

“The Law of Fractional Advantage” says you only need to win by a little to finish first, and that you must take the long view of business in order to build the strongest organization.

Apply this concept — you will be on your way to Building a Better Biz!

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