It is unlikely your company is the only one in its field. It’s more than probable you all do business in the same way, using the same tools, marketing in the same platforms and competing for the same clients. The more niche your business, the smaller the client pool in which to fish. You can keep doing the same things as your competitors or you can break out and become a successful and influential leader in your field.
You don’t necessarily need to diversify. Diversification is a whole different mountain to climb and we will tackle that at a later stage if necessary.
What you do need to do is find Think-Different Solutions. While some call it ‘creative approaches’ many people who are not innately creative find the word rather frightening and off-putting. The solution or way forward doesn’t necessarily need to be creative, it rather needs to be a different approach. Which is why I call it a ‘Think-Different Solution’.
To be able to assess whether a new strategy is successful or not takes time. The strategy needs to be in play for sometimes at least a year, depending on what that strategy is.
How do I find Think-Different Solutions?
It all starts with the Formula for Success, specifically the Future Me.
Formula for Business Success: FM x CL x MA x C = MR
[The Future Me x Continual Learning x Massive Action x Consistency = Massive Results]
The Future Me applies to both yourself and your company. Where do you want to be and where do you want your company to be next year, in five years’ time and in ten years’ time? Once you have decided on those goals, the next step is formulate a plan on how to reach those goals. Clearly, the steps taken, which are probably the same steps your competitors are taking aren’t working. Now is the time for Think-Different Solutions.
It can be frightening to head off in a different direction to everyone else, but rather than fight for space on the mountain wouldn’t you rather set a trend by finding a new path to the summit? Wouldn’t you rather be an influential leader in your field?
5 ways to discover Think-different Solutions
- Continual Learning: Learn something new every day and action it until it is a habit.
You don’t necessarily need to come up with a Think-Different Solution yourself. There are numerous talks and books available to you from which you can glean other people’s ideas. All you need to do is apply them. Make it a habit to set aside time in your diary every day to learn something new. If you don’t know where to start, my website will soon have a resource page filled with books and talks which I highly recommend. Until then, you can find great resources on best-seller lists, or Ted Talks. Start with 15 minutes a day and make notes of the things you learn so we can revisit those points again. Put what you learn into practise until it becomes a habit. Other people’s ideas and thought will spark new ideas for you and you can build from there.
- Massive Action: Take action and measure the results
This is an imperative. If you don’t measure the results how can you accurately determine if the action is working or not? Rather than diversifying the product or service, focus on improving one or two aspects in your business at a time. A laser-like focus on these strategies is what is needed. You shouldn’t adopt a new strategy as a permanent change until you have tested and measured it. Decide on the ROI you want to see within a certain time period, then go all-in to make that ROI happen. If the action doesn’t deliver as expected, abandon it and test and measure a different one. While some actions may need a year’s testing, others like social media may only need three months. Your ROI needs to be substantial – 1000% rather than 10%, for example.
- Consistency: Make sure your business model is correct for your company
Part of being consistent requires doing the right things all the time, rather than the wrong things. To save expenditure many entrepreneurs will take on admin tasks they are not qualified to do, like accounts or legal. If you are not an accountant or a lawyer don’t try to tackle these jobs as, in the end, you have to spend more money for a professional to sort out the mess.
Hiring an outside professional to do your accounts means you will pay him, say R1000 an hour. It sounds like a lot, but if you do the accounts yourself, it may end up costing you R30 000 in the end. Not only will it take the accountant many more hours to fix the problem, but you will wasting your valuable time which could be better spent finding new clients. Spend the money to either hire an accountant or to take accountancy or bookkeeping courses so you can do the job correctly yourself.
The same applies to your staff. Are you insisting your staff take on roles and responsibilities they –
- Never signed up for
- Are not qualified for
- Don’t want to do because it’s way outside their job description or their strength
‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”
The same applies in business. If you judge an accountant by his ability to create websites, both you and he will end up frustrated and angry. That’s not to say the accountant might not have a great website concept, just don’t force him to build it. That’s the web designer’s job.
Try to keep things you can do in-house – admin and growing your client base.
- Massive Results: Make a Million
If you want to make a Million Rand by the end of the year, you need to make sure you’ve costed your time and your deliverables correctly. If you’re charging too little and delivering too much you will never move beyond survival. Success requires you to calculate your hourly rate not on what you think the client can afford, but what you want to earn. Your offering does have to match the value the client is paying but that relates to the quality of the work or service. If you are offering an exceptional service, your clients will happily pay your hourly rate.
Make sure every service you offer has an accurate estimate of how long it will take you to achieve it. Charging a client for ten hours of work that will in fact take you 30 to complete means you are actually paying the client.
If you need someone to coach you out of survival and into success, contact me today.