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Standards, Not Stack of Papers - Little Stone Lion

Today, I'm sharing the Product Chapter in Enso's Inner House of Business Framework at my upcoming Little Stone Lion Business book.

Standards are not merely a stack of documents collecting dust on shelves. In fact, they serve as the gateway to accessing top customers in your niche market. However, many entrepreneurs shy away from the challenges associated with achieving and implementing product standards, often relegating them to a low priority. It's time to change this perception and understand the true value that standards bring to your business.

Allow me to share my own experiences to illustrate how adherence to standards helped us secure significant business opportunities.

In the state of California, as part of their grid modernization initiatives, concerns arose regarding solar saturation and the stability of the power grid, preventing the big solar adoptions. To address these issues, we needed to comply with the new solar data communication standards, hard requirements, and ensure that our smart inverters could intelligently communicate with the grids. This would enable them to respond to grid disturbances and prevent mass blackouts or brownouts.

Although it required several months of dedicated effort, we successfully achieved compliance with these standards. This allowed us to retain our top customers. As a result, we found ourselves with only a handful of companies competing in the solar inverter market. We successfully positioned ourselves as industry leaders, delivering superior solutions that surpassed our competitors.

Now, let's explore another scenario. Picture me sitting in my office, gazing at the serene woods, while my thoughts fly thousands of miles away to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. I pondered how we could accelerate solar adoption on these twenty-two islands to fight climate change.

However, the challenges I faced in Barbados in the past served as a valuable lesson, a beautiful island I visited, though for business. In Barbados, we had developed solar inverters compliant with the local utility standards, only to encounter a sudden change in their grid requirements. This shift rendered our products incompatible, losing sales opportunities.

Determined not to repeat this experience in the Pacific Islands, I proposed a ground-breaking solution, rather than tackling each island's standards individually. By collectively standardizing the utility grid requirements across all twenty-two Pacific islands at the onset of the solarization efforts, we could significantly reduce implementation time from several years to less than a year.  Thousands of dollars could be saved among local utilities, solar equipment manufacturers, etc.

It's now your turn to embrace industry standards. Seek out professional standard organizations in your niche market, join their ranks, and actively contribute to their development. By complying to the highest standards, you will distinguish yourself from competitors and greatly enhance your chances of winning and retaining big customers.

In the following chapters, I will delve deeper into this unique strategy and illustrate how it can transform your business.

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