Businesses are dying. But it’s not the ones you may think.
Industry giants such as…
Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, Walmart, Kmart, J.C. Penny, Macy’s, Aeropostale, and The Gap.
According to Harvard Business School, businesses are disappearing faster than ever before, dying at a rate 6 times what they were 40 years ago.
These businesses were the untouchables! How could they be failing too?
There is more uncertainty and change in our world than ever before happening at an absolutely breakneck speed. The constant evolution and increasing complexity of our economic environments is keeping us all off balance.
The ability to adapt is essential. However, with all the moving parts, how can we know the best course of action? If you were honest with yourself, have you truly allowed your business itself to adapt to the climate? Or have you resisted the changes?
If you’re anything like us, you may be not only overwhelmed by all the changes, but are unsure of what the best course of action is for your business. What we see very often is that many business owners see the change around them, but get so overwhelmed that they begin to resist any change to their business that is any deeper than cosmetic.
This lack of deep adaptation and resistance to revolution is what is causing businesses to fail today.
The best, most successful businesses are the ones that are willing to shake things up and create new cultures, strategies, and environments within their companies. This is because these businesses will have the ability to thrive, even in the current uncertainty of the marketplace.
We have looked at many different successful businesses and compiled a list of 5 revolutionary business ideas that allow these companies to survive and thrive.
This article is the second in a series of 5 revolutionary business ideas.
Today we’re going to address the second business practice that most successful businesses are adopting today.
Businesses that Thrive Create Connections
Think about this…
Uber is the worlds largest, most successful taxi service. However, they own no vehicles.
Facebook is the world’s most popular media owner. However, they create no content.
Ali Baba is the world’s most valuable retailer. However, they have no inventory.
AirBnB is the world’s largest accommodation provider. However, they own no property.
What do these companies have in common? They CONNECT people.
Uber connects drivers and cars with individuals that need them. In a way that is safe and tech friendly.
Facebook connects people all over the world and allows them to share and curate their own content.
Ali Baba is a trading company that connects businesses with products to individuals with needs.
AirBnB connects weary travelers with safe and comfortable places to stay.
What these companies sell is not anything tangible. So what do they sell?
They sell the ability to CONNECT. They also sell the experience of connecting securely, conveniently, and relationally.
Consumers are more and more drawn in with memorable and pleasant buying experiences, instead of by products/services on their own. With the uncertainty of the economic environment, many consumers value the “here and now” over tangible objects. The most successful businesses put their main efforts into creating an experience.
We may not all have the business model that companies like Uber and AirBnB, but they still have a lot to teach us about today’s marketplace and how we can update our business models to become more relevant. Mainly, we need to begin to focus to focus on selling these experiences as well.
The Experience of Security
This could be done many different ways, however they all boil down to 3 main basic ideas:
Serve to connect others with quality product/services.
Connect people with products/services that you and your family would use. Be aware, this may not be a product you sell. This could mean connecting a customer of yours who needs a specific product with someone you trust that sells that product.
Serve to connect others with quality people and opportunities.
Connect people with others that they may be able to do business with or that would help them grow. Referrals serve as an important way to build relationships with your network.
Serve to connect others with quality information.
Connect people with the information that can help them. A great way to do this is through curating articles on social media and sharing books. Another way to do this is through in person contact. In the Information Age, there is nothing worse that being not “in the know”. There is nothing more embarrassing than having someone say, “You didn’t know that?”.
These three may not alway directly end in a sale. However, these types of interactions are rapport building activities that will increase your sphere of influence. These will also position you as the expert in your field. So the next time one of your connections needs the product/service you provide, you can guarantee they will be coming to you first!
The Experience of Convenience
Amazon Prime has raised the bar on convenience. You can find the exact product you want, at a discounted price, and have it delivered to your doorstep THE SAME DAY.
How can we compete with that?
Fear not! Amazon hasn’t cornered the market yet. Consumers still enjoy a wide variety of unique products and services that may not be offered on Amazon.
However, even though a customer may choose to buy from you, they will EXPECT the Amazon Prime level of convenience and customer service.
Find ways to offer more convenience. You can do this by having mobile-friendly store fronts or maybe in-person delivery. This can look like many different things. However, at the heart of it, you need to be meeting the needs of your clients in a personal, sincere, and efficient way.
The Experience of Relationships
There is a great little restaurant in our community called Yellow Dog Eats. This small business was started in 1999. Despite the economic uncertainty of the past decade and a half, this small local business has managed not only to survive, but thrive! Not only has it become a local favorite, it’s been able to expand to a new location.
How did it do this?
- It isn’t their location. This business is tucked away in a suburban side street.
- It isn’t the prices. Expect to pay $10-$15 for sandwiches and salads.
- It isn’t the food. While they do serve INCREDIBLE food, there have been many local restaurants with great food that haven’t been able to survive. There must be something else to it.
The answer is a man named Fish.
Fish is the owner and founder, although you might never know it. Every single time I have been to the café, Fish is there. Greeting guests, serving food, and making the guests feel at home. He comes to each table and strikes up genuine and heartfelt conversations with his patrons. The atmosphere he creates is welcoming, comfortable, and an all together really good time. And the team he has put together are people just like him. From the kitchen staff to the cashier, everyone cares about and connects with the customers
Fish doesn’t sell sandwiches. Fish sells relationships. He sells a comfortable place to meet with old friends and a place to meet new ones. He sells an environment that allows for connections to be made. This business looks like a simple sandwich shop, but it is much more than that. Yellow Dog Eats is a place to build and form relationships that also just happens to sell really delicious sandwiches.
That is something that Amazon Prime can never compete with.
There are 23 million small businesses in the United States and new start-ups opening daily. Chances are, someone else is selling what you sell or doing what you do. What is it that you do that makes you different? How is what you do different? Making the revolutionary change to focus on connecting their customers securely, conveniently, and relationally, is an important step to making your business rise to the top.
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