It’s happening all around us and we’re blind to it. We must open ours eyes, embrace it, and learn how to leverage this great opportunity.
I’m talking about the way we do business. Lets look at a small business scenario.
Meet Larry. Larry owns and operates a small retail outlet “Larry’s Tool Shed” specializing in handy man products – drills, sanders, nail guns…etc.
He’s been in business for 5 years and noticed a dip in his sales lately and doesn’t know why or what to do about it.
He’s doing the same thing he’s always done – treating the customers good, providing a helping hand to people in his store and even answering questions to those who inquire, so why the decline? Is it because of the economy? Or is it something a little deeper?
Lets first identify the problem.
Larry is doing the same thing he’s always done, so why is this a problem?
Because his customers are NOT doing the same thing they have always done. They are growing and evolving with the rest of society, using new ways to buy products, using new platforms to communicate with people and they expect people to offer advice before they have to ask for it.
What can Larry do differently?
Assuming Larry knows the above breakdown, here’s where the shift comes in.
Larry has an e-commerce website developed offering the same products online that he does offline. He also develops a loyalty program for his customers so that when they purchase products they earn points towards new and upcoming promotions (this is a value-add for doing business with Larry and gives a customer a reason to stay loyal to his business).
During the sign-up process for the loyalty program he obtains email addresses. Now Larry can offer to send a free newsletter with all the up-and-coming products, discounts and holiday specials he will be running.
Larry then notices that he is getting a lot of questions coming through to his email box, so he decides to start a blog offering free advice on building projects, fixing household issues and cost effective methods of “do it yourself” projects.
WOW – Larry is getting a lot of comments coming through his blog, what should he do?
He decides to start a subsidiary of Larry’s Tool Shed called “Larry’s Property Management”.
Focusing on his local community, Larry offers a property management membership to all local residents. This membership includes:
- Specialized discounts at Larry’s Tool Shed
- One free DIY training video a month (Youtube)
- A monthly property sweep to make sure the household and property are in check, and because Larry knows all the contractors in the area, he can also suggest the top tradesman so people don’t get ripped off.
Larry has some shifting to do, wouldn’t you agree?
Being able to recognize and adapt to change is so essential in today’s business world (small or big). Opportunity shows itself on a daily basis – it’s just a matter of whether or not you’re willing to do something about it. So as you can see, there are some changes that Larry could make in order to take his business to a higher level OR he could just keep doing the same stuff and hope for the best.
Can you smell the shift?
“To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is success” -Henry Ford.Tags: branding, business, consumers, marketing