Actually there a heck of a lot more than three things that can and will, positively or negatively impact your business, but these three are at the top of that list.
How do I know, well because I have personally experienced them while I was raised working in my parents Mom & Pop store, and from founding two major marketing companies in both Europe and the USA, including America's largest marketing agency. And more recently from founding a new healthy snack food business called Tiger Nuts.
First thing you need to know:
One of the biggest areas that differentiate the stars, the brand leaders from the rest of the pack, is that “There is a sense of urgency” in everything they do, and from everyone associated or working with that brand or company, it's a state of mind!
I can cite hundreds of examples of where there is seemingly zero urgency by the provider of the products or services, that's the easy part, but showing where a sense of urgency is seen by the end user/customer by the provider is a rarity it seems these days.
This quality is easier for smaller companies and that's one of the advantages that they should leverage. For instance, how many times have you heard a company say to you, “We will deliver between 9 and 5 on Thursday”, and the net result is that someone invariably has to take a day off work to accept whatever is being delivered.
If you want to impress customers, make a specific time and be there ON TIME, that's how you make a difference.
The chances are that you want to work with companies, products or services that are seriously concerned if you are not getting what you expected, when you expected it and in a condition that you expected.
If you can demonstrate to your customers that you and your team are more concerned about you getting what your customers want, when they want it, than they themselves are, then you are way ahead of the game. The old adage is under promise and over achieve, and if you do that, you will blow the competition away!
The second area that can impact your business is:
A lack of TRUST!
Because the world has changed from banking to bombings, there has developed a very real lack of trust. For instance I mentioned earlier that I had started a health food business called Tiger Nuts, and we wanted a line of credit from our local bank. This was not for a lot of money, but the requirements were bordering on ridiculous. I won't get into the specific requirement, but suffice it to say that we rejected that, and just put more money into the company ourselves. The point is that the banks have gone from being partners in business to a “NO RISK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES” and they have plenty of money after our government bailed them out with our money.
I realize that I am living a little in the past when I say this, but “Whatever happened to a firm handshake promise, and giving your word”.
I remember years ago after we had presented to a company called Fromageries Bel, they make those small round cheese wheels you get in grocery departments or stores. We had just been told by the then President of the company that we had the account, and we both shook hands and said “No contracts”. His words were “Jack, you have the account for as long as you do a good job”, and we kept the account until I sold the business.
Maybe showing trust to your employees, your customers your suppliers will start to pay back the other way too!
The third area is “The Kids are Alright!
There is a little of the second point in this, but the kids today are OK, frankly I have seen much better work ethic, being more aware of our fellow man/woman from the people who have recently entered the work place, than I have ever seen.
When I started both of my marketing agencies, we were amazingly lucky with the people and talent that we surrounded ourselves with. But as we got larger, things became far more political, with people staking out territories and such.
Here's the trick, encourage the kids to make mistakes, tell them it's OK to mess up, in fact you want them to do things that will make a serious difference and take a chance. You see, you have the position an experience to make sure that they do not cause any long term harm, but by allowing them the freedom to try something new, they will help your business, I promise!
For instance the social media that everyone is talking about is done in different ways. Senior management know how important it is, what they don't know is WHY. Talk to any senior executive and they will tell you you must be on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Pinterest etc etc and they know the results of getting thousands of followers etc. But what they don't know, and cannot, is understand WHY this is so important to their customers, especially if that demographic group is younger than themselves.
The new members of the workforce do know “WHY”, and you have to not only tap into what they know and want, but also “What to Say” to the marketplace, it's their language not yours. Listen to what they have to say! Despite what you think, they do know better than you!
Create a sense of urgency inside and outside your business, and let your customers experience it!
Start to demonstrate a sincere TRUST of our employees, customers and suppliers.
The Kids know what they are doing, believe in them!
Jack Sims is the founder of two international marketing agencies, including the largest in America. He is also the founder of a new health food company called Tiger Nuts, an if you are asking the question “What the Heck are Tiger Nuts”?, please visit www.tigernutsusa.com or your local health food store. Jack also speaks to audiences of corporations and associations on “WHY they are in business, HOW they can get Better and WHAT specific steps they should take. Visit www.jacksims.com