What Sandbox Are You Playing In? | Compass Point Skip to main content

While a sandbox is an unconventional image to describe a facet of your business, it is the perfect analogy.

And yes, it should conjure up images of your childhood and time spent in a shallow box filled with sand and, of course, a few toys. It had structure and you knew what you were going to do when you sat in that sand. You also (hopefully) limited your sand playing to the inside of your sandbox with friends who knew how to play creatively in the sand and resisted throwing it in others’ faces.

Now, consider if there wasn’t a sandbox; no defined space. Without that simple box structure, working with the sand would be much more difficult. It would fall in between blades of grass or get too spread out, limiting the ability to build or mound it into castles and other architectural achievements.

The same goes for business. Just as children learn to play within the 4 sides of a sandbox, businesses essentially do the same thing. Your business’s sandbox is your field of play where your organization plans:

  • what products and services you’re going to deliver (what you create with the sand)
  • who you will deliver those products/services to (who you invite to the sandbox)
  • where the distribution channels to reach those ideal customers are (which sand tools you’ll use)

What’s even better about a business’s sandbox is that it helps your business determine what products/services you won’t create, who you won’t sell to, and where you won’t deliver products/services. This structure helps narrow and refine the company’s focus and creates agile growth.


A well-defined sandbox helps you make better business decisions.

As businesses think about how they will innovate and evolve to meet the needs of the new world, this sandbox concept can help a business focus on the right markets to serve, products and services to develop and sell, and how to reach those new markets (and avoid the wrong ones).

It builds a framework for quicker, more strategic decisions made by the leadership team and gets everyone playing efficiently in the same sandbox.

Contact us for a free worksheet to share with your team and determine if you’ve designed the right sandbox. Let’s see what you can build together.

Need to develop or fix your sandbox? We can help.

Cheryl Doll profile picture
Cheryl Doll

Cheryl’s 20 years in higher education honed her passion for teaching, strategic planning and organizational development. Raised by entrepreneurial parents, she pivoted out of higher education to work with family business owners, providing the guidance, structure and tools required to build thriving companies and families.

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