I have the immense blessing of speaking with business owners in various fields on a regular basis.
There are several concerns that I hear frequently voiced:
- Fear of competition/ Loss of clients
- Stagnation of growth
Without innovation, adaptability, and vicissitude your business will slowly fail. If you think of any successful company/brand what do they have in common? They’re constantly reinventing themselves, their designs, and their products. What if Ford changed absolutely nothing for their 2018 models? Do you think owners of previous model years would have any desire to upgrade? What if Netflix refused to film any new shows or upload any additional content? How would that affect Hulu? What if your tailor only altered clothes to a fit from the 1950’s? Are you adding value? Are you innovating? What if Apple released the iPhone 7 and changed nothing? Who are we kidding, it would still sell.. (Too soon?)
For the sake of conversation, I’m going to use the example of a guy I know in the music industry. He makes some of the best accessories for guitar players and yet his business is down 70%. He’s literally watching his competitors convert his customers, grow in size, and bury his business. I don’t know about you but, that doesn’t sound like a fun place to be. He recently posted on Facebook that he didn’t understand why his unethical competitor was experiencing new levels of success. He was contemplating throwing in the towel and even questioning God for his business failings.
I’ve watched other businesses drown in their stubbornness and being one of his clients I felt obligated to offer a hand up. I asked him several questions about his business practices. Ex: How was he marketing to previous clients, when was the last time he released a new product, how did his online presence compare to his competitors, what was his social media presence like, how was he branding his products, who did he have vouching for his gear, etc.
His answers literally FLOORED me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, however; it is way too common.
His website hadn’t been updated in years. He hadn’t put out new products in years. He didn’t have any online SEO done. He didn’t have a business Facebook page of any kind. He didn’t have any reviews being tracked. He didn’t have any testimonials from well-known musicians. (even though hundreds of them use his stuff) He wasn’t doing any advertising. He wasn’t doing interviews with publications in the industry. He literally was sitting there just taking referrals from word of mouth, doing what he’d always done, and the industry has completely revolutionized over the last few years. He lost his relevance. The industry evolved while he stagnated. To make matters worse when you Google his business there is negative publicity right there on page one. This had personally affected my decision in ordering additional products from him!
The good news is that all of his shortcomings are reversible. With a revamp, business plan, goal setting, reputation control, and some savvy marketing he could change his financial position in a matter of weeks. Can you relate to him? Are you watching your competitors grow? Are you spending more time analyzing their shortcomings than your own? Do you want to reverse the course your business is on and climb out of your financial desert?
I’ve got one question. How badly do you want it?