Businesses have traditionally dedicated a great deal of effort to staying ahead of the competition. This tends to limit their focus on the variables that are easily matched, such as pricing and features.
Business then becomes a measured battle that often leads to a downward spiral, one in which not even the customer wins. While consumers may get a lower price, they have to deal with companies that are delivering the bare minimum for that price in an effort to remain profitable.
In these days of Groupon deals and the like, people are still more likely to share their excitement or joy of having worked with a company that truly set new standards.
That’s what every business should aspire to be – the one that changes the game.
When you change the game you own it – there is no competition. Eventually others will copy or somehow catch up to you, but by then you have already moved on to a better place.
It makes no sense in our rapidly changing business environment to match the competition when you can instead lead and innovate.
Innovate: Think Bolder, Simpler, and More Fun
What do people most want in a hyper-connected world, one in which many are overworked, stressed-out, underpaid, and infrequently appreciated? They want to simplify – to live a life where everything just plain works.
I’m writing a book and my measure of success is that it works to easily and simply get the job done, thereby making the process fun. I’m talking about using social media to make your business more attractive, customer friendly, and profitable.
Getting results from your social media business channels requires work. That’s a given. However, the right process makes the work worthwhile because closing more profitable deals is fun.
That’s what my clients want. How about yours?
Innovate: Find New Methods, Practices, or Systems
One of the best ways I know to move a business forward is to build a network of friends and actively share best practices. What are they doing that is working, especially if they have succeeded in another field or non-competing sector of your industry?
The true competitor for most businesses is themselves, and it is the result of small thinking that comes from fear and entitlement.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- That isn’t fair.
- They copied us.
- Our quality is better.
- We were here first.
- Why isn’t this working?
Leading companies are much like successful salespeople. They notice obstacles and failures just enough to learn from them – and then move on to using them to innovate.
Yesterday was my birthday. Thank you. While finishing a long bike ride I had an epiphany. I realized I am mentally just as young as anyone in my field. At the same time, I have also chronologically acquired more practical and relevant experience than most. That combination is exciting!
So, I’m thinking, who better than me to come up with a new method or approach that is the ideal solution for mainstream businesses that are ready to embrace digital marketing?
How about you?
Innovate: Always be Connecting the Dots
Having just returned from a convention where there is always more good information and opportunities than anyone can handle, the common refrain this: implement, execute, and deliver. In other words, show up, make something happen, and get the job done.
We all have an abundance of what we need right at our fingertips, especially in regards to our burgeoning social networks. Some take action with those connections while others wait until everything is just right, but that day never arrives, does it?
Connecting the dots to me means first noticing, and then taking action on things that are curiously connected.
Here’s an example. Earlier this summer I was approached in a parking garage by someone who was down on his luck. He seemed sincere enough, so I cut his story to the quick and asked how much he needed – which was $13. “Yes, I can help you out,” I said, giving him $15.
The next day I went to the same garage and drove to the gate to pay the $15 parking fee. There was no attendant and the gate was up. That was a nice start to my day.
The pessimist will call it a coincidence. The optimist will look for the meaning, which may be that sometimes when you give with no expectation of return you get something back when you least expect it. I didn’t even make the connection until this past week when I was back in that same city using the same garage. Dots connected.
Like me, you probably have hundreds of friends, colleagues, or at least social media connections that could occasionally benefit from a small favor. Actively seek out those opportunities and you may just discover more doors opening for you. It’s as simple as saying yes.
Saying yes opens your mind to new possibilities.
Try saying yes more often, to others, and especially to yourself.
It’s a form of innovation that works to open up new ideas, methods, and opportunities – and that makes growing your business a lot more fun.
What does innovation mean to you?
Leave a comment below – and please feel free to use these ideas as you wish.
Until next time, Jeff
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos