“Everyone loves a winner!” This is a truth we can all relate to when it comes to our favorite sports teams, isn’t it?! But do we love our businesses enough to love its winners?
Going back to my last commentary, I want to define a business winner as an offering that efficiently generates profits. Typically, this is something your business can sell in significant dollar volumes for significant dollars of profit.
These offerings should be thought of as your winners. More to the point, these offerings should be those that most give identity to your business in the eyes of your customers.
And let me offer my thoughts on how I’ve seen this done poorly and well.
“Same Old” Identity
The weakest position for any business to be in is one where customers see them and their offering as the “same old, same old.” No difference or unique qualities in relation to other like-kind businesses.
I often think of “same old” when a business promotes itself by saying or functions as if “no job is too big or too small for us.” To me, that says either: “we’re desperate for your business” or “we’ll do anything we can get you to pay us a buck, because nothing in particular sets us apart.” Neither are good, both broadcast “same old.”
“Same Old”-identity businesses are often also low-or-no profit businesses. Assuming you don’t want to be there – with little or no profit to show from your work – consider the better examples I’ve found.
A step above the “same old” identity is the business that is known for something unique. In the businesses I’ve served, that something is better quality or service… or perhaps an offering competitors don’t have or cannot perform.
These businesses have often cleared the bar necessary to ensure their survival – and, that of course, is a very good thing!
However, there is one, key, higher and better level that must be attained – and that is to get to the All-Star level where business success occurs…
In my book and from what I’ve seen, an All-Star business is when: (1) it becomes known for something unique (quality, services, special offering, etc.), and (2) that unique reputation is connected to its offerings that produce optimal profit efficiency.
Say for instance kitchen reno’s, or window replacements, or foundation repairs, or metal roofs, or emergency- quick response plumbing repairs are your most profit efficient offerings… and everyone around town knows your business as the best and go-to provider for that offering.
Success! In these cases, your business has an All-Star identity – it is known for the very thing that produces the best financial results for your business.
To get to this place, usually the key is for the business to be managed as if “everyone loves a winner!” The business owners and managers must first know their winners, and then love, promote and build the business identity around them.
This is the way very successful businesses are built, and long-term successful businesses (any industry, location or size) bear the hallmarks of an All-Star identity.
Getting from Same Old to All Star
The first thing I’ve learned from more successful owners about building an All-Star business is that it’s always all about the customer. What the customer wants most, businesses must offer.
So, though it seems very basic to say, the first step toward becoming an All Star is to make sure you’re most offering what your customers want and will gladly pay for… and not stuck offering things they don’t value or things that can only be sold unprofitably or with lots of pushing.
Likewise, “Same Old” businesses often fail to rise above the competition because they do average, non-distinguished work. To rise above, a business’ service, quality or offerings must be better – in the eyes of customers – in some way.
So, my view is that an ideal way to transform a business from Same Old to All Star status is to pursue the following consolidated and coordinated plan of action:
- Identify the business’ most profit-efficient offerings (see commentary here) that customers demand, as evidence by strong and persistent sales
- Develop your business model around emphasizing or even specializing in these offerings, and reducing or eliminating other low-profit efficiency offerings
- Work hard to establish an identity as the best provider of these offerings in your markets
- Ask and encourage satisfied customers to tell others about your offerings
- Continually focus on improving those offerings, such that your business always remains a step ahead of competitors
- Enjoy the fruits of your labors!
Should your business need help making or sustaining such a transformation, I encourage you to contact us here.
Related Post: Use Your Super Power
Long live small business! Long live small business owners!
Jim Smith, CFP, Founder, PERFORMIDABLE, LLC