On Saturday, I watched a headline fight on the UFC between Dricus Du Plessis and Robert Whittaker. As the fighters walked into the octagon, the commentators discussed each fighter’s strategy in a segment called, “Keys to Victory.” It made me laugh because each of the fighters had keys like, “out strike the other fighter,” and “win the grappling.” Apparently, the keys to victory were to win the fight.

In the same vein, benchmarking your business can show you a version of “keys to victory.” If you compare yourself to similar businesses, you might discover that you don’t get as many customers as they do or that your COGS are higher than the average.

Huh… If only we had more customers we’d make more money. Brilliant!

If one of the “Keys to Victory,” for Robert Whittaker in Saturday’s match weren’t, “win the striking,” but, “bait and counterpunch,” it would have been more specific to what Whittaker needed to do to come out on top. Counterpunches were the only strikes that were going to get through Du Plessis’ defense.

Similarly, benchmarking will give you the problems to solve, rather than the solutions.

The real opportunity is in delving down into the guts of what is under performing and getting clear on why that is. The keys to victory aren’t on the surface in broad generalities, they’re deep beneath it in how under-performance manifests in the specifics of your business.