Are You Hiding from Your Customers?

You may have a website, billboards, and radio ad spots, but do you really want more business or are you hiding from your customers?

Sometimes we can hide in plain sight simply because we are doing everything right – we’re not “rocking the boat” so to speak. Our hope is that if we keep out nose to the grindstone and do everything right, business will come and your business will grow. As you can probably tell by my tone that viewpoint is slightly naive. What has worked in the past may not work now. The times they are a changing and people (your customers) are too.

What to do?

It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be uncomfortable. That’s because you’re going to have to stop doing what feels good and start getting outside your safety zone. Are you willing to do what it takes to grow? I’m not talking about spending more money. I’m talking about how you spend your time and how you think about attracting customers – that is if you want to. You’d be suprised at how many self-limiting business owners there are out there making excuses for why they don’t hear the phone ringing. You can make the phone ring anytime you want by picking it up and making a call.

Put the pieces together.

Cracker has a song that goes, “If you want to change the world, start to spin it.” How are you spinning your business? Do you blend in with the crowd or are you a solution to be sought? You don’t have to be mediocre. You can be great. If you don’t like the customers you have now, attract a different set of clients. Remember why you got into business in the first place and don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself. It’s your business. Own it.

Know Thy Customer

Know who you are. That is foundational. But once you do, focus less on yourself and more on your customer.

Who is your customer? I am not talking about your target customer. I’m talking about the one(s) you already have. What needs do they have that you are not or are not willing to meet? What are you ignoring or choosing to ignore about their needs. It could be that it’s because it’s outside of your business model or your scope and that’s okay – as long as a majority of your customers don’t have the same need. If they do, you may be seriously misaligned with your customer. Change your mindset and you could be poised for growth and a happy clientele.

Do your customers prefer a different type of communication than you offer?

It’s easy to send an email or paper invoice to a customer, but what if your customers prefer a phone call or face-to-face communications? Pay attention to how they contact you and learn from them, then adapt – even if it is uncomfortable for you. You are in business because of them. Without customers you have no business.

And lastly, pay attention to words like ‘wish’ and ‘hope’ in conversations.

Picking up on key words of wanting like ‘wish’ and ‘hope’ can be great indicators of new advice, products, or services that you could be offering.

The Law of Focus

The Law of Focus: Management, Measurement, and Value

Management, Measurement, and Value

There are many variations of the Law of Focus, but they all stem around a singleness of thought.  In Jeremiah 32:39 The LORD says, “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”  It seems that God supports the idea of focus in order to achieve a desired outcome.  Six Sigma mixes the Law of Focus in with Pareto’s Law stating that 20% of a process causes 80% of the waste.  Six Sigma is about increasing efficiency, but I would like to introduce a Law of Focus that is based on three things: management, measurement, and value.

Management

Every manager managing a department worth his salt collects data of some sort.  This data is usually associated with a predetermined metric of some sort.  A metric is simply a measurement that can reliably compared to another measurement to allow for analysis.  Analysis is in of itself the act of comparing one metric to another.  The manager then uses these measurements to make decisions.  How many errors were there last month versus this month? Why? Production was higher this month than last month? Why? What happened? How can we do this again?

Measurement

The manager can only manage what he or she is measuring.  If you’ve ever had a boss that cracks down hard on dress code or attendance, he or she is probably not busy actually managing what Peter Drucker calls “social technology”.  They are not innovating, they are only keeping the status quot.  Innovating managers will look for differences in their analysis of the metrics, but they can only create an analysis if they have measurements to begin with.  What you are not measuring you are not managing. Period.

Value

The last leg of this three-legged stool is the glue that holds it all together.  For unless the manager cares about the measurement, he would not ask for it.  And by default, what he or she is not asking to be measured, they are saying that they do not value it.  Regardless or not if this is true, this is how your staff will perceive it.  Have you ever noticed that once a metric begins to be measured, that metric naturally begins to improve over time? This is because the manager is bestowing value on the measurement by asking for it.

Summary

Measurement changes things. What you care about you will focus on. What you focus on, you will measure. And because you are measuring it, it will improve. This is the Law of Focus.  I like the way Karl Moore put it, “Intention sets direction.” What you focus your intentions on will grow.  These are universal truths that can help you in your business, your life, or both.


More > If you liked this post, be sure and check out > 4 Steps from Wanting to Receiving…