Tag: business strategy

200 5-Star Reviews, and charging more than competition!

Two Contrasts yesterday…which one are you?

I had great sessions with a couple clients yesterday. Both have important lessons to share.

Client 1:

Let’s call him ‘John’. When I started supporting him two years ago he charged $270 per call out. Yesterday he said it’s up to $675. He’s gone from around $300K/yr to $1.3m and I’m supporting him to reach $12-15m/yr.

Is this about just getting more dollars for nothing? Absolutely not!

He’s had the state manager of Google come and visit him because he has over 200 five star reviews!

John is obsessed, and I literally mean obsessed, about customer service and delivering 110%.

Making the customer happy is repeatedly encouraged and enforced with his team on a daily basis. His team are measured on 5 star reviews they get.

What is even more interesting is that his competitors always assumed he was beating them on price and that was why he was getting 5star reviews. There has been feedback they are really getting annoyed and scratching their heads now they know it’s not price! LOL

Client 2:

This client is helping import a new product from China that sells for $15K-25K.

This is around 30-40% cheaper than the competition and they are excited about this and guess what?

The price difference is their main selling point. They are pushing how much cheaper it is. And getting excited about this fact.

I had to burst their bubble. I see this quite a bit. A startup gets the idea that they can bring in a product far cheaper than the current suppliers.

Where’s the bubble?

The new startup has very low overheads.

In this case no factory or real fulltime staff. No marketing budget. No warehousing costs. No warranty repairs yet.

The competitor on the other hand has figured out that to pay wages, pay overheads, stay in business through the slow months, etc etc…they need to charge that 30-40% more. Make sense?

The other issue I have with undercutting the market is that it lowers price expectations with customers. It ruins it for everyone and costs us jobs.

Hence we are seeing so many stores close in Australia and jobs lost. We think about ourselves only and want cheaper cheaper cheaper, but lose sight of the real costs of this to others including the environment.

LOOKING FOR TIPS ON GETTING TEAMS TO HELP INNOVATE AND IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS?

Here are two of my strategies I use to help teams innovate to turn the business around or take it to the next level.

Staff and customers are fantastic sources for ideas on what to improve, yet many businesses don’t tap into these gold mines well.

1. Permission to fail.

When encouraging staff to suggest and try better ways to do things (that are not life threatening or financially crippling), make sure you give them permission to fail.

“Try it, if it doesn’t work, change it or try something else.”

It’s that simple. No big deal. Encourage your team to try new ideas they have.

The culture has to be one of giving permission to try.

I see so many teams frustrated and demotivated because they can’t implement their ideas. It is common to see morale turn 180 as soon as the team feel listened to and able to suggest ideas.

2. Ask customers for suggestions.

The trick here is to appreciate they can have a fixed opinion of what you can do.

They have put you in a ‘box’. Therefore you need to encourage them to think outside the ‘box’.

I will literally say something like, “if anything was possible, what features would you really love to see?”

Encourage them to forget what they believe you can offer, and to talk about what they would really love to have. Sure, some ideas will not be practical, realistic or feasible but in my experience, there is always at least one good idea that helps improve the business.

If they seem a bit stuck for ideas, ask them if there is anything your competitor does really well that they like.

MONDAY MADNESS DOING THE SAME THING AND EXPECTING A DIFF RESULT.

Is there anything, anything at all this week that you should stop doing and do differently?

Give yourself permission to let go of a strategy that deep down you feel doesn’t work. Or maybe it is time to acknowledge that it doesn’t work?

And it’s only a week – just try something diff this week in your business.

Here’s a few very simple things clients of mine changed and they experienced significant improvements/results:

– Put the approval checklist for projects on a big white board instead of a spreadsheet on the computer. The problem with computers is the info is out of sight, out of mind. No one could quickly see where approvals were at for projects so there were delays and this meant cashflow delayed. Now its on the white board, no one can escape it and projects are getting approved 40-80% faster = more revenue/month.

– Stop preparing and sending quotes for orders under $500. Just send a pricelist. It was taking time preparing quotes and for anything under $500, there just isn’t enough margin. This has freed up time to spend on the larger quotes and win more of those.

– Followup emails to enquiries that have come in over night were not getting done the same day. The culprit was continuous interruptions. The change in strategy was to ban anyone talking to the admin person between 830-9am. Now she has no problem getting replies out first thing which achieves their customer service goal. It wasn’t a hard change or complicated change but the results are significant. Note: recent research found that it takes 23 mins to get back on task after an interruption. Hence the reason they are so destructive!

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The key point here is that small changes can make HUGE improvements to your business.

Don’t delay on doing something different because you feel it has to be ‘large’ to make a difference. If you analyse the difference between good and great companies, it is the small things that they do differently that sets them apart.