What is your “edge” in business?

Imagine an X-Factor for business start-up hopefuls.

Twice a year, 100 applicants are picked from over 5,500 who apply each year – the “lucky” 200 having the opportunity to attend a gruelling select process, during which they are expected to find a business partner from amongst the other applicants and jointly come up with an idea so good that financial backing will be granted. Only a dozen or so get through each cycle.

It exists.

The company is called Entrepreneur First (EF), is based in south London and, since it’s foundation in 2011, has helped to launch 143 companies with a collective value of more than £400 million.

No big surprise that EF is dedicated to the technology sector, where Klondike fortunes can still be made (their web site shares some of their success stories, including two graduates who teamed up in 2015 and sold their business to Twitter 18 months later for $150 million).

Co-founder Alice Bentinck describes how new applicants are gathered together at the start of each cycle and asked to focus on their “edge” – their strongest point.

“This may sound cheesy,” says Bentinck, “but it’s : what are the rare valuable things that you know or can do? Use that as a basis for building a startup.”

Reading a profile of EF in the May edition of Wired Magazine UK, I ponder the application of this attitude in my own business and the business of dentistry.

What is my “edge”?

What “edges” do my clients have?

An interesting exercise for the start of a new week at work.

Step 1 – spend just a few moments creating a list of the rare things that you are exceptionally good at;

Step 2 – think about how a focus on just those exceptional skills could change the way that you do business?

What is your “edge”?


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.