The most important thing you need for your business to succeed is change. No, not the kind that you find under your couch cushions (although that is always exciting). And no, not the kind that turns you into a werewolf. I am talking about the kind of change that requires you to rethink and innovate so that your business is always relevant.
“Because some things never change . . . and some things do.” - Morpheus
Customers never tire of great customer service. A friendly smile can go a long way. Please and thank you never go out of style. However, more and more customers' expectations of good customer service change. People want things fast and they want it to be perfect. Usually those two things do not go hand in hand. If you want to keep your customers happy, you have to make sure that you keep up with their expectations.
Create surveys or just ask at check out. What did you like best about your experience? What did like least about your experience? If you see that there is a pattern, you need to be ready and willing to change. Customers want you to be able to attend to their needs but mostly their wants.
“It’s hip to be square!” – Huey Lewis
So everyone says that you need to find something that makes you different and stand out from the crowd. That is true. What is your “it” factor? If you don’t have one, you need to find one. Now, that “it” can be anything but whatever it is, it needs to be memorable.
Three years ago, I was looking to buy a car. I knew that I wanted a luxury used vehicle (I don’t buy new anymore). This particular area in my city has a lot of car dealerships on both sides of the freeway (highway for those of you not from Texas). But there was one dealership that “specialized” in used luxury vehicles. Of all the car dealerships, this is the only one in the area that focused on that market.
You do not have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to roll better.
“No man is an Island, entire of itself . . .” - John Donne
As a self-confessed control freak I have a problem with not being in charge of everything. Some people are the exact opposite and are happy to let others do everything. But there has to be some middle ground. Either way, you need to change your approach. You have to be willing to let others help you. You do not know everything. There are people who have the skills and the desire to do certain tasks and are just better than you at it. Let them teach you a thing or two.
If you are one of those people who just want to do the fun stuff, then you have to take some responsibility for your own business. That means you need to manage your little islands and make sure they do not float away. It is a balance, as all things are.
Make the commitment to do things different. Change is good. You know that old saying “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”? (Thomas Bertram). I say if it ain’t broke . . . Innovate it! Cell phones were great and worked fine until Apple came along and flipped the world on its head. What kind of change are you willing to make?
Shahara Wright is an experienced and highly sought after business law attorney and business strategist. She is the author of From Entrepreneur to CEO and host of the CEO Collaboration Circle. Shahara founded The CEO Effect, LLC to work with small business owners who want to implement strategy to build capacity.