We all look for the silver bullet, the one thing that will deliver that golden profit and then we are on our way to the next business venture or sail into retirement……. Yet, like most times that is all too often not the case and the silver bullet doesn’t materialise, or maybe doesn’t even exist… Business is about doing the simple things exceptionally well. The 1%’ers that just keep adding up and improving your business a little bit at a time. There is a saying, “if you aren’t moving forward then you are getting left behind”. Status quo is not an option. So, when the market gets a bit tougher than it used to be, when the competition comes into the area, don’t sit there and think it will get better “one day”. You will be eaten alive. If you aren’t prepared to put in the hard work or a little more work than previously required then you could be left to rue your decision. Don’t look at the problems, look for the solutions. Look for the points of difference between you and your competition. The business owners that are doing this now are reaping the rewards of fabulous returns and happy, loyal and repeat customers. I recently listened to a sales industry expert (guru really) who gave this gem piece of advice, “No matter what job you do – You are in HR and Marketing”!!! What he was saying was, make sure you really look after the people who work for you. Your role, as the owner of the business that employs staff, is to clear the pathway for them to do their job. Train them, coach them, set & review the KPI’s with them, provide incentives (both monetary & otherwise). People get hung up with KPI’s and try to complicate the process – any job can be broken down to 3 KPI’s (maximum 4) – set them, review and incentivise them…. Sure you have to follow them up, continually check the staff are on track, reset the direction now & again, but you have to allow your staff to do their job. That’s the HR bit. And I hear you say, why should I? If I do all this staff still just leave and go somewhere else anyway. So what? Isn’t that your investment into your business and your job? We should be growing and developing our employees and maybe, just maybe if we do it, they stay. Maybe they stay longer than they would have. At some point when we have provided all we can, employees will leave for another challenge but they will leave having been given the development and grown on a personal & professional basis. What a gift you have given to them! Then, when that happens and you want to recruit a new employee, watch how many people want to come and work for you. The Marketing side of the business is about you becoming the Mayor of your local area and connecting with the community. You are the owner of the business and your job is to engage customers and attract business to your door. Build your Brand – you really are the CEO of your Brand. Look for a point of difference between you and your competition – critically assess what your business stands for and more importantly review your competition. Not to copy them, to find the difference between you and them. Then you go about building that point of difference, giving your customers something that the others can’t or don’t deliver. It doesn’t have to be an expensive piece of whiz-bang technology or some complicated strategy that you can’t put into words or action. It may simply be providing the best customer service experience ever and then becoming known for it. If there has ever been a tougher market place in the retail sector then the humble butcher shop has been under attack for years from the big multi-nationals. They do everything within their power to channel as much business as they can into their shops every week at the expense of many of the other retailers. And yet every week I visit a butcher to buy the weekly supplies. This butcher is not in my local area, as a matter of fact I travel past a few other butchers and a number of multi-nationals to get to this butcher shop. Yes, they sell the same produce as any other butcher (that’s probably an understatement as the quality of their meat & presentation is something that they have worked on diligently for years). But the one thing that they do excel in is the customer experience. I challenged my wife one day to come with me and see for herself as she couldn’t see why I went past all the other shops to go to this one. Once inside I said and did nothing – the staff member just did their stuff and what a show it was….. Yet, it was nothing unusual, as all the customers in the shop were receiving the same service experience. And, the shop was full of customers and the cost of the produce is a little on the expensive side, yet everyone is happy to pay as they receive quality product in a timely manner with exceptional service and that happens time and time again, day after day (the business is built on repeat clientele). This costs nothing, their service is part of their Brand and part of their DNA. It has become their point of difference. By the way, my wife is a convert – we go there all the time now and when I’m not with her, the staff carry the bag of goods to car for her. And they do the same for every other female that shops there – it’s just something they do.. That little extra 1%er!! So, are you reviewing your business to work out your point of difference? Are you growing sales and profit by doing the simple things exceptionally well?
If you want to find out more please on the topic or want to discuss the sale of your business or the purchase of one, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Mark Aponas – Business Sales Specialist m: 0401 999 560 e: firstname.lastname@example.org